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,.

Friday, May 5, 2017


Working on making the tutorial for the ribbon roses. As I was assembling one of them, a idea came into my little tired mind on how to improve it. It began as a way to help stabilize it, since it is in 3D and I work with fine threads. The first "good" rose was still a bit floppy because of it. After making a successful prototype, it occured to me that writing it down with pictures would still be confusing. Or have the potential to be confusing.

As I worked on the second rose, I knew the best way to describe what I was doing was to "show it". As in video tutorial. I will probably still do a written version but if I can show how to make it in like a 5 to 10 minute video verses a potential 5 page written with pictures pattern......

I am going to have to design a base for these as well. For now I am using the catalyst from Kim's Forever Roses. I want something more simplified  for mine in keeping with the way the rose is worked up. This pattern can be elegantly simple once you find your tatting rhythm with it.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Where's the proof?

Pictures...I need to get back in the habit of taking pictures of projects. I only managed to finish one egg.

Most of my effort this month is on those roses. Two dozen-ish doesn't seem like a lot, but it actually is taking a whole lot of energy to just do one. Since variety was asked for, I went in search of 3d roses and only found a few.
Which led to me trying to puzzle out how to do the ribbon encased roses. I posted the question/puzzle on Craftree, and the consensus seemed to be a chaining around the ribbon. The simplest answer is usually the right one.

 For those wanted to know the "how", the answer is a line chain with the core being regular thread and the double stitches and picots are formed with ribbon on a second shuttle. After doing enough for a few petals, I went back and formed the chaining around to make the petals. I did remove the "ribbon" shuttle and replace it with regular thread before doing the outer chaining. It sounds simple right? The trick is alternating the size of the picots and the number of double stitch spacing to create the petals. Graphic tutorial anyone? On my to-do list for next month. I think I should make them with regular thread and ribbon pictures side by side. It was confusing at first on joining because of the gauzy nature of the ribbon.

I did finish a triangle motif from Tatting Fantasia 2. This was mostly to see if I can do it. The whole book is basically made up of variations of this motif. I had a horrible time wrapping my mind around it, so it was a challenge to me. Once I finished it the "aha!" light came on and I wonder why I found it so difficult to tat up in the first place.

I learned that one of my long time coworker friend's daughter has just learned to tat! They moved to what amounts the middle of nowhere so her husband is making her some "rough" shuttles out of wood. Before I knew it, I offered to make her a pair of shuttles out of resin. I have to be honest here, I haven't touched my resin crafting in almost six months. Mostly because my asthma makes it difficult to work just about anything. Kind of hard to work when you can't really breathe.
At first, I tried to remake my silicone molds for the post shuttle. My molds were old and really unusable. I'm embarrassed to say, it didn't work out. I actually had to go back and review my tutorial on my resin blog to remember how to do this.
I did a Lady Haore style shuttle, because that's what the tutorial was for. It was a very shallow mold and the first run broke as I was demolding it. Not to worry, after sanding the shape a little better, I went to fix and reinforce it.
I still plan on making a traditional post shuttle for her, so she can have both styles and decide which one works best for her. I personally don't like flat shuttles when tatting. I feel like my threads get dirty much quicker that way. I will admit I do have a few flat clay shuttles that I acquired many years back. I will make a few molds out of this finished piece so when the mood strikes, I don't have to start from the beginning again.