A new distraction!

It’s been embarrassingly long since I blogged last.
There’s a simple reason for that. Sadly I have almost not picked up my shuttle for a very long time. Did a little motive in February but that’s the first thing I did in several months.
I’ve not been bored though. I discovered a new way to express myself. It’s called Zentangle and is a very creative way to doodle.

Sample of a few patterns
Sample of a few patterns

Zentangle is about repeating the same pattern (usually a few strokes of pen) to create a breathtakingly beautiful and seemingly complex piece of art with minimal skill requirements. I mean, you just follow some pattern instructions and combine it with a new pattern and so on and so on and voila! You have an amazing looking art in front of you.

Since I’ve been planning for a long time to get a BA degree in graphic design this is helping me a lot on the portfolio-front. Since you need to have a good and well structured portfolio to get into the good schools. It’s a major pain in my behind to figure out this portfolio of mine. What to put in it? What not to? How to present it? Do it in a timeline maybe? Is that silly? How do other people do it? Well, that’s a big headache for me these days.
Maybe I’m just overthinking it, but I want to make it good and impressive. Blow them away with my amazing wits and artsy thinking…

So, yeah. I have to say I really recommend the zentangle method. There’s a reason the name starts with “zen”, cause it really calms you down, centers you and focuses you. It’s kind of a yoga-thing for your brain. Try it, I bet you’ll fall in love like I did! ūüėÄ

Zendala = mandala in a zentangle style.
Zendala = mandala in a zentangle style.

Aaaand we’re back!

Oh gosh! I am an idiot. A total idiot!! I forgot my email/password combination to this blog *facepalm* I just found it by accident when I was looking for an old email on my “blizzard email account” since I only use that email for blizzard stuff (World of Warcraft – yeah I play it and yes, I’m a nerd). Well, DID only use it for blizzard stuff apparently.

Anyways. We’ve been having a lot of tatting fun lately. The last entry I made was right after we got our shipment from Wall-mart which took forever to arrive. And we had just bought the online course on Craftzy. Ok, well… so I guess we have A LOT to cover now.

For starters, we have totally given up on needle tatting, shuttles are the way to go, at least for us. We’ve made some amazing stuff lately, lots of necklaces, a bracelet or two and some earrings too. And I found a pattern for this adorable little 3D flower and we’ve been putting it on hairpins,they look so adorable. I just have to show¬†you…

The little 3D hairpin.
The little 3D hairpin. So cute, SO CUTE!

I’ve also been working on a rose pattern by Tatting box called Cornelia. It’s very nice, almost all done with chains and LJ. Which is nice, simple and I’ve practiced LJ very well lately. I was never able to get it quite right. I always ended up with a string at the end of my chains and the chain very loose, not right up to the picot I was joining to like it should be. This pattern helped me to overcome that little problem of mine. And it looks so fancy. Have I mentioned that I love beads? I put beads on EVERYTHING now, even if it’s not in the pattern, beaded pattern it will become!!

Cornelia necklace. Tatted by me, pattern by Tatting box.
Cornelia necklace. Tatted by me, pattern by Tatting box.

A friend of ours, Icelandic girl that now lives in England with her boyfriend has been in Iceland for the past one and a half month or so visiting and enjoying the home country and we introduced her to tatting. She loves it and is getting quite good at it. I love the fact that I’ve started mentoring people in tatting, being such a noob myself. But I don’t know if she’s just very good at picking up new things or if it really matters this much to have someone teach you face to face. Because if my memory is not playing tricks on me then I’m pretty sure she’s learned tatting way easier than we did. I want to thank my teaching abilities a bit but I don’t know if that’s it. I’m usually quite quick to pick up new things too and it took me a lot more time to get tatting right. I think it’s because we didn’t really have anything to go on except a few videos and pictures in a needle tatting book to assist us. Having someone show you live, face to face is a much better way to learn I think. What do you think?

Now I’m working on a pattern by Yarnplayer – my idol. It’s called Rotation¬†Tatted pendant with beads. It has SCMR with a bead in the middle and lots of other beads on it, a floating ring which means I have to use two shuttles, and more technique I’ve never used. I got as far as finishing the SCMR and one floating ring with a bead in it and the chain it’s on. That took my only what… like 1 and a half hour or so!! I made mistakes, had to re-thread some beads, fix some mistakes here and there and at the end of it I had a way too big SCMR compared to the bead – it was still the same size she used in hers – and a crooked floating ring on an uneven chain. But hey, practice makes perfect right? It’s the first time I use two shuttles and my first time making a floating ring and of course that floating ring has to have a bead in the middle just to complicate things a bit further. Marilee wasn’t kidding when she wrote that this pattern is for advanced skill in tatting….
But I’ve felt the need to challenge me a bit and start to learn new techniques so I’ll stick to this. This necklace will just be for practice but I hope I can get it better on the next one!

Will show you some progress report and probably a whole blog of me raging on how difficult and impossible this idea of mine was. But until then… happy tatting! ūüėÄ

Your package has arrived!

Well, finally our shipment came on the 4th of march after a long 3 weeks of waiting. 

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to blog after we got our shipment, been rather busy, both with tatting and other stuff. But we got needles jeij! And we put our shuttles down and started needle tatting like crazy, we found it MUCH easier than shuttle tatting. I’ve made a few pairs of earrings, quite a lot of pairs actually, two necklaces and lots of items that didn’t quite sit well with me, mistakes etc, that were just thrown away. I still have to finish some of the work, put chains or ribbons on the necklaces and such and will post pictures as soon as I finish it, thread all ends and take some good photos with an actual camera, not the crappy one that’s on my phone.

I’m thinking it might be easier to make an album of our finished work than post all the pictures on here, so I’ll just put in a link as soon as possible when I’ve finished the work. It’s just so much more fun to keep tatting and not finishing the works, do the chains or earring hooks etc. But ofc I would have done it right away if I’d had the needles to thread the ends right from the start, took me about two weeks to finally go and buy them.

Oh yeah, talking about that shopping trip! Both of us sisters went to a store here in Reykjav√≠k after I called my aunt to ask here where we might be able to buy very fine threads – cause I didn’t really like the selection in the other place we bought the Lizbeth thread. She referred us to another store which is more of an office supply / school supply store and I didn’t really think we’d find anything there, but to my amazement she nailed it! It was filled with Lizbeth thread, size 10 and 20 and all kinds of other threads as well, lots of pearls, earring hooks and just all the supplies that you might need for jewelry making. So we bought a few colours, needles, needle threaders (which we’ve ruined already, they’re really crappy) and we found a very nice plastic box with lots of little¬†compartments and with it came these little plastic thingies that you wind your thread on and it fits perfectly in the little¬†compartments, it’s very neat! So you don’t have to have the whole ball of thread with you, just this little piece, and you can wind enough on it to last for a while.¬†

One thing we learned that same day, after getting really excited about maybe being the only ones here that were tatting and we were doing something completely new, well besides the old ladies doing doilies and edging clothes and stuff, we were the only ones tatting jewelry. But we were wrong! There is this girl here that we had no idea about but my sister found by accident online, that’s been needle tatting for quite a while now and is even teaching needle tatting in that store we found – so THAT’S why they had all this selection of Lizbeth thread. I have to admit that I was kinda disappointed, I really wanted to be the first and hopefully the best in the future. And she’s even selling her works on facebook, which would be perfectly fine (nothing wrong with healthy competition) if she weren’t overprizing her product so much. F.ex she’s charging around $60 for a pair of earrings that aren’t even that complex and don’t take that much time to do… it’s just really wrong. So I don’t like her. I would never charge that much for a piece of earrings, even though they’re homemade and maybe even her own design. Or what do you guys think? And some of her works that she’s selling for even higher prizes come from free patterns online. I don’t think that’s such a nice way to go, or maybe it’s just me being irritated and negative towards her cause she’s doing the things I was planning on doing, I don’t know. I still find it wrong to overprize so much.¬†

But to other things. We’ve found out that Marilee Rockly (yarnplayer) is a very big name in the world of tatting. Or at least I think so, given the fact that she’s published three tatting books, which I really want to own and I come across her designs all over the internet. I wish I could tat like her, omg she’s SOOO talented.
The reason I’m mentioning her is that both me and my sister have found out that shuttle tatting might be the way to go, most of the tutorials online are for shuttle tatting, patterns are mostly made for shuttle tatting and lots more. So we decided to buy her online course on craftzy.com yesterday. I reaaaally recommend it for tatters that are just starting, it’s amazing. She’s just a fountain of knowledge on everything tatting, and she’s so adorable. So I finally found out how to make a chain with shuttles and her videos explain things so much better than any other tutorial I’ve come across so I’ve started shuttle tatting again, and hopefully will “master” that soon.¬†

And like I said, pictures will come soon! ūüôā