Monday, January 27, 2014

So frustrated with the CNC machine

I am soooo frustrated.  I did everything the seller told me to do to get my engraving machine to work and the spindle still will not spin. I am not waiting for him to contact me back to tell me what next step I should try. This is getting really old. I've had the darn thing for 3 months and have not been able to engrave one piece of wood. This is nuts.

While I have been waiting, I spangled and laquered a bunch of pair of bobbin lace bobbins. I'm waiting for the last batch to dry so I can sand them down and use them. I am going to  make a bobbin lace pillow this week also. I have just a travel pillow and need something bigger. I'm making one about 18 inches and adding a roller to it. It might not look the best, but I know it will work just fine.

I  have another bobbin lace lesson this Saturday and I'm pretty excited. I am loving the possibilities. I love that I have access to people who can assist me.

I also sent my registration off for Finger Lakes Tatting conference. I signed up for a class with Ruth Perry. WOW. I can't believe that I may get to learn from her. I am so excited. We will be tatting using sewing thread. I will load my bobbins with Oliver Twist thread. It's my favorite small thread to use.

My friends in Gettysburg who I tat with once a month are starting a new group meeting in Hanover MD. I will be happy to join that group also. Unfortunately the first meeting falls on my husband's birthday so I won't get to go. ((sad face))

Friday, January 24, 2014

Family and stuff

I don't feel like I should be allowed to be happy today. My family is in the midst of a horrific tragedy. My cousin's house burned down last Saturday and it just got worse from there. Our little Braxton who was 11 passed away on Sunday. Braxton was named after Olivia because his mother loves her so much and admired her. Braxton's older sister Tiffany who was 26 passed away on Monday evening. Thier 14 year old brother Tre' has been in a hospital in Cincinnati Ohio since Saturday. He had his first surgery for debreeding on Monday and did pretty well. He's a strong boy and has a will to live.

This all happened the same day as my son celebrated his engagement. We traveled to the Philly area and the party was at an Indian restaurant. In the Indian culture, there is a blessing of the union. I learned so much about the Indian culture. I was able to wear a beautiful sari. It was so fun but bittersweet. I tried really hard not to think about the events happening in Ohio and West Virginia and concentrate on the celebration.

So the reason I don't think I should be happy is that so many of my family is not happy right now. I am excited that I sent my registration in for the FingerLakes tatting conference. I have my accomodations reserved and paid for. I have a few people staying with me for the weekend, but I am staying for a week. I'm excited about the classes I picked out. One of the classes is by Ruth Perry. I cannot wait to meet her. I'm so excited. I'm also hoping to get the classes with Cyn and Karey Solomon.

I went to tatting group in Gettysburg this evening. I had so much fun seeing the 'girls' again. There were only 4 of us but we haven't seen each other in several months and I really missed them. Holly learned an easier way to shuttle tat with the help of Deb. Chrissy and I figured out how to do a Single Shuttle Split Ring (SSSR). It was different than the way I used to do them, but it was pretty easy. It was so nice to get to hang out with them again. I have been blessed with friends that I have only known a short time, but feel like I've known for ever.

I still have bobbins to spangle and shuttles to decorate tomorrow. I made a bobbin holder. I didn't do a great job of it, but I see where I went wrong and will be able to make changes to the next ones. I should be able to sell these on my Etsy store. They are prretty cool. I want to make some for a few people as gifts.

I still need to change the fuse in the control box of the CNC machine to see if it works. Shawn promised to help me with that tomorrow evening. I'm at my whit's end with this machine. I was so excited to get it and now I've had it since the first of November and it's still sitting there not working. I feel like I have an $800 door stop at this point. The seller is working with me but it's so hard because they are in China and I can't get on the phone and call them to talk me through troubleshooting. I have to send an email and they reply and I try and try to get it working. UGH.. It's so frustrating.

Well, it's really late and I am exhausted. I will post pictures of the spangled bobbins and pix of the engangement party soon.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bobbin lace lesson

On Sunday I had a wonderful distraction from the tragedy our family is suffering.

I met with a lady that I met online who lives just miles from my house. She taught me some history of bobbin lace. She showed me her early work and her current work. Beautiful by the way.

She also talked about bobbins and pillows and pins, OH MY. Which bobbins are good for sewings and for other laces. I learned about Bucks point lace, Milanese, and so many other types. She recommended some books for me to get and I've already found and purchased 3 of them.

I am intrigued by so many different styles, but for right now, I want to stay with Torchon lace because I have a few things that I want to make and Torchon is the best for what I have in mind.

I want to get a roller pillow, but saw one online that I want to make. That will be good for me to make one.

I came away from the lesson with so much information. I know that I need to get some better and thinner pins, but for right now, I'm going to keep working with the ones I have.

I still have several pair of bobbins I need to spangle. Alyson also showed me why I don't need to have all of my bobbins in pairs. As long as I keep consistant, I should be OK. But knowing me, I need pairs. Partly because of my OCD, but partly because I like the matching ones.

Well, I need to get back to spangling bobbins. I have about 30 pairs left to get done. Lots and lots of beads to add. Not sure how many pair of bobbins I have right now. I am getting a large collection. Mostly cheap ones that Olivia and I painted or decorated. Whatever works, right?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Spangling some new bobbins

I got a package in the mail the other day from eBay. I got 36 Midland bobbins that were unspangled. The packaging was kind of strange. They came wrapped in an empty dinner side dish box?????  Well, the bobbins smelled musty so I've been trying to get the smell out, but I still wanted to spangle them. I sprayed them with Fabreeze and put them in a ziplock bag for a while. They smelled kind of OK, but I got to spangling. I got 11 pair done and have 7 more pair left. here is a picture of the ones I got done.

Here are the pairs on the left and one of each on the right. I had some help so not all the designs are mine.
Last night I got another package. In it were the replacement HRH Prince George bobbins, a new set commemorating the marriage of Prince William and Pricess Kate, and 50 unspangled bobbins. Uh Oh. Now I have 32 pair to spangle. I think I may be running out of ideas for the spangles.  I have a lot of beads, so I will come up with something new, I'm sure. I think I have enough bobbins for now. I also am waiting for a new order from Agnes from Sixpenny bobbins in the UK.

I'm so happy that I found Agnes' web site because I have been bidding on her bobbins on eBay and I've overpaid for a lot of them. I am just ordering them from her directly from now on.

I had some plain wooden bobbins that Olivia and I painted while she was home for Christmas. I need to photograph them as well.

I am also playing with some plastic shuttles. I've been decorating them with stickers and Mod Podge and clear nail polish. I'm having fun with them. Pix of them to follow.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Got some Hand Dyed Thread done today

Today I was able to dye 30 skeins of thread to be put up for sale in my Etsy store. 17 skeins of size 20 and 13 skeins of size 40. Some really different and interesting color combos came out of the process.

They are drying now and should be completely dry by tomorrow. I will be able to photograph them and list them tomorrow.

I opened my store back up yesterday after being on vacation for a few weeks. I got 3 sales almost immediately. I had placed the store on vacation for a couple reasons. I wanted to give Shawn a break from making shuttles and I really didn't want to have to go to the post office just before Christmas. It was a mad house there.

My engraving machine is still not working and I've been working with the seller to try and get it up and running. Still no luck. I've tried everything in the world to get it to work. At this point, the spindle won't turn. Everything else works. I don't know how to use the software yet, so I'm definately going to need Nate to come home or my next door neighbor will help me use the software.

The reason I brought all that up is to say that I had hoped to have some different shuttles in the store by now but no such luck. I will keep plugging away at it until I either get it working or the seller sends me a new machine. It's just so frustrating.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Etsy store open again

I opened my Etsy store back up today. I haven't listed new threads yet. I plan on hand dyeing several skeins tomorrow and listing them. I hope to get some really pretty color combos made.

I also started Jane Eborall's 2014 Tat It and See game. What she does is every few days she gives you a little piece of a tatting pattern. You finish the part of the pattern and then send her an email with the photo. She posts them on her blog. It's so much fun seeing how the pattern unfolds. Last year was the first year I did it and we tatted a baby buggie. Tatting is a little hard for me right now since I got a bad cut on the ring finger of my right hand last evening while making dinner.

I guess it's bobbin lace for a few days until the cut heals. I am going to repeat the first bookmark I did but do it in white and another color. 14 sets of bobbins to work with. It's fun to watch the pattern unfold.

Olivia left yesterday to go back to Ohio for her spring semester at school. We had a great time while she was here. Much better each time she comes home.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Woo Hoo I did my first "Guts" ride

I did it. I did my first Do you have the Guts ride. That means on New Years day you take a ride on your motorcycle for brunch, no matter what the tempature is. In the years past, the group always went to a restaurant that serves shellfish and I'm alergic so I can't go. This year I went with another group.

Today we started out and the temp was 28 degrees. It was 8am. I had to jump start my bike because the battery was dead. My nephew, Nicholas, helped get the bike started. We'd tried everything and we couldn't get it started. I finally did something that you are NOT supposed to do. I hooked the bike battery up to my truck and started the truck. This can blow the battery up, so don't do this at home.
Fortunately it worked. Nicholas came with me on the ride. I recently bought heated gloves but they came unplugged on the road and I didn't get a chance to plug them back in. The plug wire was hanging off the bike and kept hitting the pipes. Needless to say, they are HOT. The wires melted a little, but not bad and I'm not in any danger when I use them.

We met up with two other people and rode to Chesapeake Beach Md to Rod and Reel restaurant. It was about a 60 mile ride one way. 25+ people showed up. It was a great meal with great company and great conversations.

On the way back, I had to be Road Captain because the guy who led us on the way down was going home a different way. We got home safely. I got to use my heated gloves working on the way home. Boy my hands were warm. NICE. Oh by the way, it was about 35 degrees when we got back. It sure had warmed up.

First "Guts" ride is over. WOO HOO