November 21, 2014

Post progress

With the new post mold I've managed to make it deep enough to make different height size posts. With it half filled it only requires only a small bit of sanding to use with these particular blades. Here I've begun adding the center post. There still is a small bit of shaping the edges to get it to lay flush with the blade.
Besides the tatting I had decided to try using velum scrapbooking paper. The butterflies came out vibrant the damask pattern a bit more obscure. Still, I think they'd make pretty shuttles. The good thing about this trial is that it'll cut down steps on tinting the resin being cast. The butterfly has a small bit of optical illusion play to it. It appears to be different layers but is really only one. I really like that effect. It was cast with clear resin.

I think I'm going to make a few small earrings out this paper. I have a friend who loves anything butterfly, and I think she'll really enjoy them.

There is of course a slow down in working with resin now that it's gotten colder. Maintaining the proper temperature for it to cure has begun to be an issue. I think purchasing a small space heater may help. I'll have to make an area for just the resin so the heat can be focused there and not be too overpowering in the MomCave while I work on other projects.

November 1, 2014

Shuttles calling twice

 I found that the blade width of the other shuttle made it a bit tiring to tat with after a while.  I cast these blade with the minimal amount of resin. The thinner layer made it more difficult to shape the outer edging of the shuttle. Then I had to very carefully paint on a few more layers to achieve the above picture. In the end, while I can use size 20 thread motifs to make these blades, the extra steps needed to make them, are too consuming for me to keep trying. I'm going to have to stick to 40 and 80 thread.
This little blade was another test to see if I can create a shuttle with the tatting being of different levels. The little fox's back leg has two layers on it. It requires a thicker blade. The front or top layer is completely smooth. However, the back of the blade, where the post would be joined, you can feel the tatting. It got me thinking that I should give it a try with size 80 thread. This blade was made with motifs with size 40 thread. Since 80 is half the thickness, it should be possible to do and not feel the thread through the resin layer. Why is this important? Because the celtic motif I want to use has different layering levels. With the tatting completely flat, it's easier to pour it smooth and make the thinner blade. The different layers create a bit more of a challenge.
 These are another pair made in size 40 that I'm currently working on. The yellow one, when finished, will be for a Facebook trade. I liked the way the flowers looked so much, that I decided to make another one with some other variegated thread. I added a butterfly to the tops because I was wasting thread trying to get the color variation to match up on the two different flowers. They had a visit by the glitter fairy and she left her mark on them. I like they way they have a subtle sparkle to them. You can see the difference between the two yellow flower blades.
 I mixed up too much resin when I cast those other blades that I decided to make another Mini-hearts shuttle. I added some black pastel scrapings to the resin and got this gorgeous smokey tint out of it. I added some cellophane to give it the iridescence light play. I'm debating on whether to keep this for myself or sell it when I complete it on Etsy.
 Even after making that little gem, I still had more resin mix left. Since I had spilled the glitter on my work table, I did my best to sweep it up and tossed it into what was left of the resin mix. It went into two molds. The layer in the cabochon mold is very thin so I'm leaving it there until I can decide what I'm going to do with them. The majority of the mix went to my bracelet mold. I've ended up pouring the left over resin into it and while it's enough to make some thin bangles, they can't really be worn. The blue one is thin enough to be used as a setting for a tatting snowflake to hang either in the window as a suncatcher or on the tree.
There was another request for a tutorial on how to make a resin post shuttle. I have not found one out there in cyberspace. I was thinking of making one. I'm hesitating on creating it. Not because I want to keep the way of production a trade secret or anything like that, but because I'm afraid it's going to be long. There are people out there who see something they like, and want to try to make themselves. Some succeed at it, others, when they see how much time and work goes into something, get frustrated and abandon it. They have the misconception that it's a easy and fast thing to do. I don't want to discourage people, but I think that if I make a tutorial, it'll do just that. It took me a few years to learn the patience to correctly work with resin. It wasn't easy for me, I'm a very instant gratification type of person. I'm not sure exactly how much information to include into a tutorial. I don't want to create information overload but some steps need that extra portions explained in detail....either way the tutorial would be long. I guess I'll sleep on it for a few days and decide on it later.

October 12, 2014

Tatting Resin Shuttles

                           I am so excited! I finally finished a tatting shuttle, in the right size!
It did take about a month and a half to get this done. Primarily because I didn't have time to work on it.The blades were done a few weeks back. They needed tweaking because one side was uneven. Then there was the sanding and finishing.

 Even though it is smooth, it has a wavy appearance to it, similar to the glass top in the background.The blades were cast in all clear resin, but I added a secondary layer that had a small bit of lavender eyeshadow included for a tinting reaction. I was 'painting' it on, but had to use the side of a Popsicle/craft stick to smooth the resin and make sure it was a thin layer I was adding. Using the same stick, I painted a thin layer to the sides to get rid of the matte look that sanding created. One side of the blade is thicker than the other because of the depth of the mold I used.
The center post was actually made using a cut out from an unused stick of Oyumaru. It turned out to be the perfect width and height to keep the shuttle tension between the blades. In the photo above, it is still in it's gummy stage. I placed it between the two blades with a small bit of clear resin, to get it to bond with the blades.

In this side view you can see the tinting effects the eyeshadow gave to the resin. The center post is in all clear resin. I am planning on hand drilling a small hole as a thread lead into the center post when the resin is fully cured. The difference in thickness between the two blades is also noticeable here. When you hold it in your hands, it gives it a weighty feel to it, so you naturally want to hold the thinner blade up, like a boat on water.

Here I have it in relation to the other shuttles in my collection.
Moonlit ~ Large Clover ~ SewMate ~ Prototype~ Starlit Shuttles
 I did say I was aiming between a SewMate and a Starlit shuttle and I think I hit it. Once it's fully cured, in a couple of days to be on the safe side, I'll take it for it's test run. I began another one using size 20 thread for the motifs, to see if I can get it to come out the same without having to make the blades thicker. The original was made with a thinner size 40 thread. More than likely any more shuttles that I make like this will have to be made with motifs in size 80 or 40. If this secondary run works out, I know I can make it with size 20. I will be remaking the Green Knots adapted pattern

in both 40 and 80 to cast. These were motifs that I submitted to be made into shuttles by The Shuttle Shop that never got made. Also they were what started this entire project.

August 24, 2014

A touch of play and fantasy

Back to shuttle making. This one I got carried away with the glitter. It is so easy to get carried away with glitter.  I added a regular sewing machine bobbin for a center post substitute. I don't know why, but making that center post seems to be the most draining of all stages of making these shuttles. It's not just that you have to get the dimensions correct, you have to make sure it can maintain the weight and balance of the overall piece. It's such a pain for what amounts to such a small piece of the overall project. At least I finally found the sizing of the shuttle that I wanted, between a SewMate and a Starlit shuttle! Now to begin with the many small motifs to begin embedding into them.

This is my final submission piece for Resin Crafts'  challenge. Originally I wanted to do a 3D magnolia with a small butterfly landing on one of it's petals. Unfortunately, I did not have the correct size doming mold to cast into. I do like the blue metallic thread I used to tat the butterfly. I think it ties the glitter together nicely. The red butterfly was actually supposed to be an orange butterfly. Even after sealing it, the resin turned it darker, so it gives off the appearance of red. It's been so long since I've working with embedding threads into resin, that I had forgotten that bit of info.

August 7, 2014

A challenge

A request was placed for a resin project to be created with some new bezels that have yet to hit the market. I wrote the person hosting it, and a few weeks later, I received my two bezels.
I want to add some tatting to it. I made a magnolia with a butterfly resting on it. I've made this particular combination before, and have never been able to set correctly. Here's hoping it works out this time, if not I can always paint the resin on to stiffen the lace.
Along with this particular project, I've also decided to make some tatting shuttles. I'm making one with Umbreon, Espeon and Evee. I think I've added too much glitter to it. I wanted the edges to be lined with glitter because the background of the pictures were white and stood out too much against clear resin. There's also a larger shuttle blade with a picture of Mulan, stainglass stylized fanart picture of her. On this particular blade the glitter did stay on the edges, more or less. There's also a key chain with the same stylized picture of Ezmeralda from The Hunchback of Nortredame.