Monday, June 22, 2015

Why is my mind racing at this hour?

Did you ever try to get settled down for the night but fail miserably because your mind is racing? That is me tonight. I started the evening just trying to figure out what I needed to do to make the shuttles better for the next batch. That was simple enough but then the brain became awake and took over the thought process. I am a Pisces which means I am hard to pin down, mysterious and elusive. Being very sensitive about what I put out before others, I tend to go over all scenarios in my head before letting go. Guess this is why I tend to get so involved in my brain before letting it out into the world.

That first paragraph often happens to me of an evening. For whatever reason my mind seems to take off with things I have been thinking about at night when I should be getting ready for bed. This causes me to be up later than I intend as I am super charged with ideas and concepts of things I want to do. Where this is at during the daylight hours is sometimes beyond me. What started the roll when I was looking at all of my pins on Pinterest. I needed a way to better organize all of my design ideas and inspirations to work them out as I get the time. I had been thinking about setting up an album of the images so I could select something to work on and develop sketches from. I have many items that I really want to work on before I do any more shows. But my brain gets on a roll and thinks way too far ahead for me to process it all. I have been searching for a way to deal with printing my boards to a PDF. However, there is a limitation to all the suggestions: it will only do the first 6 or last 6 pages leaving everything else blank if you have a large board to deal with. Printing to a PDF after loading the whole page does not work, selecting and copying does not work, in short just about everything I try to do does not work to save the board to paper. So I will go on looking at my boards and wonder just how best to save things and use them in my designing process. (I may just have to save them one image at a time.)

I have recently begun to think long term with my shuttles. I am still exploring options for thread winders but I am blessed to have a hubby who indulges me when I am thinking. He is a trained engineer which means I need to keep him from over thinking things once in a while. Something I see as simple can get complicated quickly when he applies engineering to it. I do sometime have to fight really hard to get him to see the simplicity of what I am trying to do. He will then finally get it. Gotta love him for trying sometimes. But I am wondering if some of the images that I have chosen are not appealing to others. I will have to rethink the images that I am putting on the shuttles so that they will be attractive to others besides myself. I believe that I have finally worked out the issue with the finish of the shuttle. I am just hoping that the next round is more durable and dryer than the first batch that went out. Sometimes it is a learning process as to what will work best when trying something new.

The next round of shuttles are well underway when it comes to sanding them in preparation for the images. Images are available but not finalized as I need to re-look at what people were drawn to the list time out. I guess it is hard to predict what will draw people's attention and what they will select. It is just so hard to decide what the market will bring when I put things out there. 

Well, just like last night my mind is racing a mile a minute once again. Sorry there are no pictures today but I hope you have a happy one.

Happy Tatting

Arial - The Tattered Faerie

Friday, June 19, 2015

Working away . . .

Today is one of those days where you just wish that the rain would finally end. Seems like we have been having daily rain for weeks now. I am more than ready for the sunshine to return. There are just some things that I can not do very well inside effectively. I can work on my shuttles but the dust would not be so bad if I could actually do it outside. Plus when I get to the final coat, I really need to be outside for the smell factor. Then there is the thread dying that I would love to be doing right now. I find that the color often sets better if I can dry my threads in the sun for a while. Let's face it, I need the sunshine myself.....

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that we are getting rain where other places are receiving nothing. However, I know a few people who would be more than happy to share some of their bounty with those places gladly. But it is what it is and nothing we can change about it. I just am missing the sun right now.

After the success I have had with both my shuttles and tatting, I am thinking about what I need to reinvest in for the coming weeks. Besides the wider color selection of threads, I really need to expand my seedbead collection. I have a few but with the number of items that sold with beads vs those that didn't have beads, seems I will need more. Also the smaller threads are in while the larger threads are good for the bracelets that sold. 

I am already working on the next set of shuttles by getting them all sanded and ready for the images to come. I have many images that I feel will work well that I have created over the years. It just took me a little while to get the two things I love together. I will be selecting images to cover about 100 more shuttles but plan on releasing them about 20 at a time. I am still unsure if I will release duplicates of the current images. I have enough new images to not ever repeat or even can generate new images to keep that from happening any time soon. Below is a full rendering from one of the shuttles that has already been sold. This will give you an idea of the difference between what can be fit on the blades of the shuttle and the image that is actually created.

The one who has this shuttle will be able to see where it came from.
I will most likely continue to develop my display capabilities for when I take my tatted pieces on the road. I must say that my copper pieces were quite the hit with the gentlemen in the crowd last week. Seems that they liked the way I had used the copper pipe and fittings to create something that their wives might use. I am looking at using "makeup" cases to transport both my demonstration materials and any items that I might have for sale.  Most of my shuttles were under glass but the ones that I didn't have that way were handled more than I was comfortable with. I will have to figure out a better way to use them in how I display things in the future. I was always on the look out for those who wanted to handle any of the shuttles I had set out as a part of the overall display. I may just have to get a couple more of the glass frames that I used to display the other shuttles that I have collected. 

There are so many new ideas running through my brain right now because I am sitting here writing this entry. But when I get done, they will all go away once I have quit and published. I am still on the look out for something to use as a proper thread winder that I can apply my images to. I am looking for a source for the 60's style flowers that one could have found everywhere just a few short years ago. Now I am lucky if I can find something even close. The  picture below shows how I modified them to turn into some very nice thread winders. However, getting the slit for keeping the thread from unwinding might just present a small problem.

This is what I created from 60's style wood flowers.
So this entry is actually becoming my working ideas for things running through my mind today. I did just receive a package from Handy Hands. I ordered various colors to expand the thread selection I have available to me. There are a few I wish that I had before my trip last week as I know that whatever I had made from them would have found new homes.

My new Lizbeth threads, size 40
I have the idea that I will be ordering more threads as I thought I had ordered a particular color but I guess I didn't. Isn't that the way it goes?

Happy tatting

Arial - the Tattered Faerie

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Processing More Shuttles

I have not really posted much anywhere the process I have been using to create my image shuttles. Well, I have decided that I will post here with all of its flaws so that others may know how difficult the process is to get it right. It is definitely a learning process from start to finish.

Blank Shuttles after prepping for applying the image

I started with blank shuttles and I am giving away my source in doing this: 
    1) I start with Tapestry/Tatting/Thread Shuttle "Boye" that I purchase in bulk from Lacis Online catalog. 
   2) I will remove the point and sand the surface to prepare for applying the image. This is done to both sides of the shuttle, not just one.
   3) I then select the slices of images from my various Fractal images that I have created over the years. (I have more images than what you have seen in my shop so far, so don't worry, I can go on for quite some time and not repeat an image.)
   4) After image processing to produce the correct size for applying to the shuttle and how I want the image to end up looking, I cut it to fit each blade of the shuttle.
   5) (This is where it changes from the first time I did this.) I will take and seal the image on both sides of the paper before applying to the shuttle as the Mode Podge will influence the image by absorption of water from the glue. (This must be done in order to preserve the clarity of the image detail as these images are very detailed).
   6) The images are then attached to the shuttle and allowed to dry overnight. I attempt to coat it a couple of times to make sure everything is covered and smoothed down. This also includes the edges to make sure it is attached and will not easily peel off.
   7) These are allowed to dry thoroughly before applying the final sealing coat to keep the shuttle from appearing and feeling sticky. My mistake on the first batch was not making sure it had been allowed to dry for a couple of days before moving on to the other side and then waiting to list them in Etsy once they were ready. 

The learning process here was to make sure that I could handle them well before sending them out into the world. For that I am sorry as some have received shuttles that now have marks in the sealing layer that make them rough. I am hoping that by extending the time they are in the drying process and slowing down to send them out will produce better results in the long run. I do appreciate the ones who have been so kind as to let me know how they arrived and that they were still willing to keep what I have sent in spite of the flaw. 

Images added and ready for trimming out to the first side.

I am still on the lookout for something to use as thread winders that I can make to match the shuttles that I produce. I would love to find the 2 inch wood shape of a "60's" style flower but since I have wanted to use it, that shape has been very hard to find. I may have to settle for some other shape to use for the base of the thread winder. I could use the 2 1/2 inch popcicle sticks that I can purchase in bulk at Walmart until I can find something better. That will be an ongoing project that I hope to add in the near future. Tell me what you think of that idea. The drawback to using it is that the space available for the image is very narrow and will not give very much of a sample of the image that is used. 

These were still drying from the top coat of Mode Podge

I don't know how many saw but I will also provide a 5" by 7" image of the full fractal just for the cost of printing at the time of the order if requested by shop conversation. Remember, what you see on the shuttle is only a small part of the full image that I generate.

Well, it is time for me to end this entry and start planning the next batch of shuttles. (There are 100 blanks waiting for images.) I do hope the ones who have already purchased the first batch have wonderful tatting adventures with them.

Happy tatting,

Arial - the Tattered Faerie

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Busy and Exciting Times

Well, I have been so busy that I really have neglected this poor blog. I really hope to get back into regular updates very soon. 

I have not been able to post much in the way of tatting recently because most of what I have done lately has been testing for a couple of very special tatters. I will post when I can for one of the testers but the other has requested no photos published. (So I will honor her wishes in this regard.)

What I can announce here is that my Etsy Shop is now open for business. I opened it for those who liked my Facebook Page Arial's Creations first and then opened up for the rest of the world to see. This is the final place that I need to link to in order to make sure I receive exposure for the shop. 

Below are the blade samples for the first 20 blades. I have almost sold out of the first set of 20 shuttles. I have not decided if I would do more than a couple of runs of each image before moving on to other images that I have lurking on my computers. The basic program used to create the images is called "Apophysis" which creates Fractal Flames from mathematics. It is the combination of various equations and color weights which produce the beautiful images. 

First set of 10 blades

Second set of 10 blades

The images are on both sides of the shuttle. The first set of blades are a bit rough as far as the application goes. I am still working out the process of applying the image and then sealing it. I am wondering if the weather has played a part in the fact that the surface still seems stickier than I wanted it to be. But I hope to have things worked out for the next set that will be even better yet.

The other busy thing about this year is that I was asked to demonstrate tatting at the Missouri State Fairgrounds. The first occasion was for "Trail's End" to commemorate where the cattle drive from the west met the rail heads which lead to the markets of points East of the Mississippi. The second occasion will be coming up this week, "Big Red Power" celebrating the International Harvester company and their contributions to the farm country.

So time to close this entry and plan just what I am going to be taking with me. I have lots of things to show off and if you are at the fairgrounds, stop by the Fine Arts building and visit me.

Happy Tatting

Arial - The Tattered Faerie