Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone! Hope everyone has a safe time trick or treating with the little ones!

Now that this holiday is here, I'm finding it crunch time for crafty gifts for Christmas. After some thoughts (and tatting while at M's house), I think I'm going to try to make snowflakes and cards for everyone out of state that I know, and finish up the knitted projects that I have going. Oh, and making snowflakes and ornaments to go on my own tree, as well.

I've changed the colors of my tree from Technicolor to black, purple, and silver. M thinks it will look gothic, but I don't think it will.

I've started making the snowflakes, using glass beads to add sparkle. Here's my first two:

The purple is Sharons Merry Christmas Snowflake, and the white is Jon's Hearts in a Snowflake. Both are now finished, but the white needs blocking and stiffening.

Will add both to the 25 motif challenge when I get some better pictures. I don't have an SD card, so I can't take pics with anything but my camera!

And a question. How should one go about stiffening lace? I want to keep the white flake as white as I can for years, but I don't know how.. Should I use glue mixed with water? Starch? Or should I use a spray sealant?


Jane Eborall said...

Well, there's a question. I'd personally say NEVER use sugar water, you CAN use pva glue but the best thing of all is to use a tight tension. Well, that's my opinion.

Sharon said...

Snowflakes that have spike-y arms that stitck out without any kind of support may need a little help, but snowflakes like the Merry Christmas flake have fat arms that don't need a lot of support so they're OK as is. The 3D snowflakes from my new book were stiffened by applying washable white school glue to a wet snowflake and they're solid enough to stand up on the table. I've never done that before but it looks like it works.

God's Kid said...

Your snowflakes look great! :)

Katherinne McKay said...

Thanks ladies!

Jane - I'm usually a tight tatter; this snowflake has a lot of open work in it's design. I had wondered about the sugar water, but living here in the deep south, I thought it'd be too risky (fire ants are bountiful).

Sharon - Your Merry Christmas flake holds up beautifully. It's the Hearts in a Snowflake that I'm having a little bit of trouble with at the moment.

God's Kid - Thanks! ^^

Kathy Niklewicz said...

I've had great success with Ailene's Fabric Stiffener (found at JoAnn's), which is similar to a watered down white glue. My snowflake, fans and angel wings are 20 years old, and they still look new. (However, I did not have to stiffen Sharon's Merry Christmas snowflake, tatted with Lizbeth #20.)

My bells and other 3-D items MUST be formed over a styrofoam or plastic shape and definitely need the stiffener

I have a certain technique for keeping the amount of glue to a minimum, and I hope to do a blog post about it.

In the past, tatters didn't have the products we have today, ao they had to use sugar water. I wouldn't recommend using it today.

Tattingrid said...

Love the purple snowflake! Very nice.
As for blocking: I use liquid blocking material from the drugstore, called Nibro. You should add water, but I use it as it comes out of the bottle. The restult is OK.
However, I have been warned NOT to (steam-)iron my pieces, as they might loose their perfectly white colour over the years.. ever heard of that? Any experience? Ingrid

Katherinne McKay said...

Kathy - I'll keep that in mind. The closest JoAnn's is nearly an hour away, so when I go it's to get fabric that I am in desperate need of. I'll keep an eye out for your blog post!

Tattingrid - Thanks!

I've never heard of it, but I'll see if we have any here. I've never steamed any pieces that were white; all of them have been dyed in either black or bright colors. This sounds like something to try, though. I would like to know about it now..

My mom used to crochet with white thread, so she may have some experience with that. I'll ask her and let you know.