Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I came up with several ideas for the hearts. I asked on facebook to see what people thought of the hairpin idea or maybe making a bracelet. Some didn't think the size eliminated the possiblity of earrings. I also played around with more thread sizes to see how they turned out. The simplest option was the largest size thread I had (size 3 crochet cotton) as a pendant and the 20 crochet cotton ones as earrings:
Simple but effective, I think. I like the set, but if I can do simple, the next step is always going overboard. I used a couple more of the size 20 crochet cotton hearts and one made out of size 10 together with swarovski crystals, chain, and some eyepins to make a necklace.

I really like this. I think tomorrow I'm going to make a bunch of the size 20 hearts and try a bracelet and see what the pattern looks like in size 80 tatting thread. I also need to take some better pictures if the sun decides to peek out so I can get these babies listed on etsy! I'm feeling amazingly motivated lately. Let's see how long it lasts.

Best Laid Plans

I was thinking about making some jewelry for Valentine's Day to add to my shop and I remembered that I had created a small heart pattern several years ago. I've previously made the pattern with fairly small thread and used the little motifs on cards and scrapbook pages. The pattern is in my journal but I never attatched a sample and I hadn't worked it up in years. I thought I would be smart and make the hearts with size 20 crochet cotton so they would be a little bigger and dangle them either directly from earwires or attatch a headpin with some beads in between. Seems like a great plan, right?

Then I worked two little hearts up. I discovered that in that size thread, they're roughly the size of a quarter. Drat! My brain couldn't really work out how to make plan A work, so it's back to the drawing board. I'm not sure whether to tack them to some felt and make hairpins or clips or just work up a whole bunch and figure out an edging to connect them and make a bracelet. I guess we'll just see how motivated I am in the end. Here's a sneak peek of the "little" guys with the threads still trailing and terrible lighting.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Busy Little Listing Bee

Back at the end of November, I spent a good three weeks tatting my fingers to the bone and acquiring endless paper cuts working on cards to get ready to a craft fair I wanted to attend. Most of the work I wanted to accomplish done, I went to turn in my application and pay my fee, only to be told they'd been full for two weeks. Frailty, thy name is procrastination. The end result of this, is that I now have lots of work to photograph and list. Procrastination got in the way again. But I finally wrestled that evil little devil to the ground and pinned him down long enough to get a little etsy work done. One pair of earrings sold within twenty-four hours! Here are a few of the other little items I've listed this week:

Live Charmed Earrings

Ring Around the Daisy Pendant

Peachy Keen Pendant

There are a few more items in my shop that aren't listed here, so take a sec and go check it out! More to come soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Keeping Track

I know what you're all thinking: How can someone so scatterbrained that she can't keep up with a simple blog manage to keep track of all her tatting patterns and ideas?

Well, I'd love to say that it's because my outward disorganization is just a mask to hide my inner-genius, but I can't. The truth is, it's all about the tatting journal. Whatever craft you do, particularly if it's something you as a business, it's important to find a way to stay organized. Here's a quick look into my tatting journal.

I chose this journal in the bookstore because the circular design on the front made me thing of a doily for some strange reason. It's easily identifiable from all the other journals I have.

I try to work up a sample of most patterns I like and want to be able to repeat and glue them into my journal. I make notes about the pattern on the same page. Sometimes I'll take a day and just make some rough sketches of ideas that popped into my head.

I also glue in pictures that inspire me whether it's ideas for packaging or pattern inspiration. I loved the idea of the hairpins all little leaf cutouts so I pasted it in here for future reference.

As you can see from these pages, sometimes I don't work up a sample to glue in but simply make a rough sketch of the pattern. I've found that just writing a pattern isn't enough. I like to have a visual for reference. I need to be able to remember details like the length needed for picots, etc. Most of my samples are worked in pearl cotton or crochet cotton to increase the size of the pattern.

And that's how my poor little over-stuffed brain keeps up with all this stuff. It's the secret to being able to repeat earring patterns in multiple colors and sizes. If perchance you can read and understand my chicken scratch notes, please keep in mind that these are my personal patterns developed to be sold as finished products through my shop. If you wish to recreate them for your own use, you may but do not sell the finished products without my permission. Thank you for your consideration.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year's Poem

I must admit that this poem started when I was thinking more about doing the church newsletter for this month rather than paying attention to church a few weeks ago. Yes, paying more attention in church is one of my resolutions this year. Anyway, I'm typing up the newsletter now and decided to share this with the couple people who might actually still be reading this sadly neglected blog.

Ready for my Resolutions:
by Keena Lindsay

I'm keeping to my resolutions
I'm brimming with hope for the year
So far, it's been really easy
And I'm sure I have nothing to fear

I haven't failed in my diet
Or fallen behind on my bills
I'm keeping on top of the housework
No dust on my window sills

I'm not saying anything nasty
Not one rumor has passed through my lips
I'm being kind to all children and animals
And leaving big whopping tips!

This year, I'm going to make it
I'm positive it will be so.
It's five whole minutes past midnight!
Just five hundred twenty-five thousand, five hundred and ninety-five to go!

And there you have it. The reason no one is paying me to be a writer lol. Sigh, back to the newsletter. Everyone keep your fingers crossed that I figure out why the computer has decided not to ready the memory card from my camera and fix it so that I can include pictures from the Christmas cantata ;)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Little Something That's Been Bothering Me . . .

The hubby and I finally invested in a Netflix subscription and I'm happily rewatching my way through the first season of Glee. I was struck again by something that bothers me. I'm really glad to have a popular show aimed at teens with a disabled character. It gives a sense of empowerment. However, why does it seem that all the storylines revolving around Artie seem aimed at making us feel sorry for him? It feels like being given a pat on the back with one hand and smacked in the face with the other.

I have lived my life coping with a disability. I won't lie and say that I've totally come to terms with what I've lost physically and what I still have left to lose, but I don't spend all my time moping about it either. You can't. If you spend all your life handing out invitations to your pity party, you'll feel even more isolated than you need to. I've had my fair share of breakdowns and moments of self pity. I remember one time when my long-suffering college roommate walked it and found me staring at my books on the top shelf where she had placed them in a cleaning fit. I couldn't reach them and didn't know what I was going to do so I just stood there and cried about it. It's funny now, but it felt like a very low moment then.

If the entertainment industry is going to try and give disabled teens a role model, they need to work a little harder at it. Perhaps that wasn't the intention with the character, but if you think you can put someone on screen that fits into such an obvious niche, you're a fool to think they won't be looked to for inspiration. It's hard enough to accept the life and limitations that God has given you sometimes. Do I wish that I was born "normal"? Yes. If I were given a chance at a miracle cure tomorrow would I take it? Probably not. My road hasn't been easy or smooth and probably won't be as long as those around me, but it's made me who I am today.

So my advice to the writers of Glee: Artie needs to suck it up and stop whining so much. Oh, and please find him a wheelchair his legs aren't miles too long for. That is all.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New-ish Work

I've posted pictures of these on facebook and I'm finally ready to talk more in depth about these little guys.

I keep a notepad beside the bed for a good reason. Many nights, as I'm falling asleep, an image will pop into my mind. Something new to try and make when my brain and fingers are awake. I always try to jot these ideas down. Lots of times, I wake up in the morning and find that my notes make no sense to me or my brilliant idea isn't going to work for one reason or another, but sometimes it actually becomes something great.

My first attempts to make this butterfly pattern work resulted in the usual pile of twisted discarded thread. The basic idea was sound, though, and eventually I made a wing. I held a mirror up next to it to see just where to join the second half and finished the first one. I loved the way it looked, but it was turning on itself rather violently so I had to block it aggressively.
Pinned out you can see the butterfly starting to take shape. I left it on the blocking board until it dried and then added a layer of stiffener to make sure it maintained that shape and voila! A butterfly:
I made a two for a special order and they turned out beautifully. One had a body made of split rings stitched down the center and I attatched a cameo to the center of another.
This pattern is an excellent lesson in the importance of blocking. I don't have any pictures of the butterfly before I blocked it because it really did just look like a twisted mess. The first one is going to get pasted into my tatting journal so I won't forget this pattern. Hopefully, there will be a few in my shop soon :)