Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tatting, Canning, Ebook Reader, and Orchid Photos

Well, the title says it all. This is going to be a long post. I've been meaning to post but just haven't had time (heck, I barely managed to update the Challenge page yesterday). I'll start with the tatting since that is what my blog is mainly about.

Motif number 5 for me is a pair of earrings for my mom's birthday.

These earrings are Yarnplayer's (Marilee) Carnival Earrings. Pattern available on her website. For the earrings, I used some of Yarnplayer Purple Punch HDT, a couple light purple crystals, and metallic purple size 8 (I think) seed beads. Gee, I wonder what colour my mom's favourite is? Actually, that may be too much purple for me. Getting weak.......must see blue ..........

That's better. As you can see, I am retatting my Male Betta (in the thread from Sylvia). This time trying to write out the instructions. I wrote out the pattern for the body shortly after posting the finished motif, but the fins have been rather daunting to write out. I'm not 100% sure how to write out block tatting, so it is going to take time. Knowing me, it'll be 6-8 months. OK, maybe not that much time. Hopefully I can get back to working on him soon. I've also been working on the Lucky Clover doily, but won't post an update picture until it is done. I have been working on TIAS4 too, but I haven't scanned it yet. One of these days.

Now, the main reason I haven't been tatting is because I have been doing some canning this year. Since several grocery stores have apples on sale right now I have been focusing on them right now. So far I have made half a dozen pints of Apple Butter (and will probably make some more), half a dozen half-pints of Apple Jelly (the recipe said it will make 3 half-pints & I only made one batch; go figure), and I hope to make some applesauce after work tomorrow. I'm not going to mention the Mint Jelly; something didn't work out, and think it was me! This jelly has a consistency somewhere between rubber cement and regular cement. From what I've read, I'm pretty sure I overcooked it. Maybe it was for the best, since my mint must have been too old and the jelly had no mint taste; the plant has been flowering/trying to flower for the past month or so. I hope to make some pickled carrots as well; I just have to find some dill.

Now, next on my list is my new ebook reader. As I mentioned previously, I was saving up for one of Sony's Portable Reader System (PRS-505) ebook readers and I finally got it. Diane mentioned that her mom got one of Amazon's Kindles, but since the Kindle isn't available in Canada (or anywhere else except the USA) it wasn't an option. Since many fellow tatters are offering their books in PDF format (and due to the fact that I tend to print web pages and the like to PDF files) an ebook reader was quite logical for me. Here is a photo of the device displaying one of my newest ebook purchases:

Hopefully Linda won't mind me showing the cover of her new book. The photo show the text as being a bit blurry, but in reality, it isn't. If anyone is interested, ebooks available from Toni Storer, Nina Libin, and Linda Davies are readable on the Sony PRS-505 after being formatted for the reader's screen size. Some of the large diagrams in Toni's books may difficult to read by some people. But that is what the computer and/or a printed copy is for.

Finally, I'll finish this post with three orchids photos from the three orchids I purchased over the last couple months. All three are NOID Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchids), but they are still very pretty.

Not really much to say about these. Not like I needed anymore orchids, but I couldn't resist. I haven't purchased any orchids since. If you don't count the two Phalaenopsis species seedlings that I got off eBay. No, we won't count them since they are still small and won't flower for a couple years. I guess I should finish the Betta pattern, and the Venus Fly Tat so I can work on the tatted Phalaenopsis I have drawn out. Well, kinda drawn out; I created outlines of each flower part and just have to fill in. Something tells me that they would be great block tatting candidates.

I have more plant photos, but I'll leave them for another day. Since my mom's birthday is coming up and the possibility that my workplace may go on strike (which may give me more time), I will probably have other tatted items to show within a week or so. Stay tuned. That's all for now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Do You Do If Your Thread Bears Are Misbehaving?

Give up? Why, you make them into rugs of course!

OK. I didn't actually turn a miniature crochet thread bear into a rug. It was made that way. Isn't it cute? I was actually looking for something else when I found this pattern (located here). If you're interested I was looking for a pattern for a full sized crocheted bear rug. It does exist. I'm not crazy. Don't say it Jane! I did find a pattern in a copy of "Needlecraft for Today", but I can't find that issue. I don't know much about the magazine. All the issues I have (from my mom) are from the early '80's. It is similar to "Workbasket" but bigger in size. Some the issues did contain tatting patterns, which are mostly the issues I have. Anyway, I thought the bear rug would look good with my Zebra rug. I haven't showed you my Zebra rug? That won't do; here you go:

I found this pattern at ePatternsCentral.com. I don't know if it is still available (it's not, I just checked). The patterns change frequently. They had a bunch of tatting patterns, but those seem to be gone now too. Anyhoo, the Zebra rug was quite simple to make; it just took a long time. The white part is done like filet crochet. Then a lot of black chains are made. These are then used to create the stripes using techniques similar to needlepoint. I really love this rug, but it ended up MUCH larger that it should have. It is a little over 5 feet long and 3 feet wide when it should be somewhere around 3-4 feet long and 2-2.5 feet wide. I guess I should have checked my gauge!

Onward to tatting. I got the three dragons in my mug. It looks pretty good. Here are pictures of all three dragons (one at a time):

I used invisible thread to sew the dragons onto the plastic aida cloth. The invisible thread was a pain in the *** to use. I can't believe Jane uses it to tat with. She must have bionic eyes in order to see it. I think she doubles it first, but still. I have a confession though. The invisible thread I bought is some that Jane recommends for tatting with (it is a made in the USA kind) because, wait for it, I want to tat with it too! More on that when and if anything happens. Maybe I am insane ......

I haven't done much tatting otherwise. I am following Sherry's TIAS. I haven't the faintest idea what it is. I don't have pictures ready yet but I'll post them when I do. I could write more, but I have to work in the morning and I would like to shave and trim my goatee tonight before bed. Later.

Monday, September 8, 2008

More Dragons! I'm Surrounded!

more animals, picture courtesy of icanhascheezburger.com

I couldn't resist this picture, being a dedicated Firefox user. Now back to my regularly scheduled blog post.

I have been working on the second dragon for my mug. Here's a picture of it. The colour is very vivid in the scan.

As I mentioned earlier, I used Omega thread, in size 30. This is the first time I have used Omega thread. I am quite pleased with the thread. Handy Hands says its a 6-cord thread, but I haven't dissected a sample yet to know for sure. I am going to have to buy more Omega thread next time I place an order from Handy Hands.

After making the Omega dragon, I began to arrange the two dragons on the canvas. Of course, after a few minutes, I realized there was too much space left on the canvas. What to do? Naturally, I HAD to make another dragon!

As you can see, this dragon isn't very happy. He seems to resent being made last. I haven't seen anyone make the fire-breathing dragon variation of Anne's dragon, so I had to. This dragon is made with Pamela's HDT called "Coral Reef". I love this colourway! Pamela is fairly new in the HDT trade, but she certainly has a way with colour. I look forward to her future colourways. Back to the dragons.... These are Motifs 3 & 4 in my 2nd 25 Motif Challenge. I hope to sew the dragons onto the canvas tonight. I'll show my progress soon. Then I'd better get back to my doily. That's all for now.


more animals