Thursday, February 2, 2017

Merry late christmas, NAMM, hubby turns 50

It has been a super crazy busy last couple of weeks! I was very blessed to be able to go to California with my hubby on his business trip to NAMM which is one of the worlds biggest music industry conventions.  It is basically a musicians/music lovers paradise dream come true. This was my 5th year in a row being able to go and each year I have met lots of my musician idols including some of the biggest names in 80s butt rock history.  It rained almost the whole week we were there included terrible flooding in some areas so we spent most of the time indoors.
The best part of the whole trip was being able to hang out with my step daughter and her hubby and her new baby.  Our new grand baby turned a year old on Christmas day.  What a complete joy he is and we are so very proud of his parents for being so awesome!!
We were gone a whole week and we came home to find our refrigerator and freezer had quit working and the moles outside had completely ruined our front yard. At this point there are more mole mounds than yard, it is very frustrating and makes me so sad. Thankfully the reason for the appliance fail was a tripped GFI in the kitchen, but unfortunately we lost at least $300 in food.
 Some of the other business included throwing a 50th birthday party for the hubby and then taking him to a fancy steak dinner once we got home, going to our companies annual get together and working several shows at the casino. I didn't get a lot of tatting done due to the craziness but I did finally get most of the Christmas cards shipped off so its time to post pictures.
I found this tree pattern at be-stitched.  This was actually a pretty fun pattern to stitch. It is a very repetitive pattern and I wanted the "needles to look like natures" so I was very sloppy with the picots.  This was the first project I did that required a stiff blocking because of the position I wanted to put the angel on the tree and the super large picots. I tried several different methods and finally settled on glue and water.  I tried using a corn starch pattern that I found online and as you can see by the tree on the right I either did something wrong or the starch pattern doesn't work with colored thread.

The starch turned the green tree whitish and it wont come out. I didn't try using sugar because some of the people I sent them to have pets and I have heard that the sugar can be a temptation to the pets. The spray on starch that I usually use didn't stiffen it enough. It actually took some trial and error to get the glue starch figured out. To get them stiff enough I had to use quite a bit of glue and very little water and I had to remember to peel them off the plastic paper they were drying on and turn them over half way through the drying process to avoid the build up of glue that happened to the back of them. I found the best method was to first iron them so the picots laid flat and the painting the glue mixture on the trees with a paintbrush.  I ended up making 16 complete ornaments with a total of 19 tatted trees. The worst part of these was by far the stiffing, it seemed to take forever so I was very glad when they were all completed. It took a really long time to get them all out in the mail, in fact I still have 2 more that need to go out.  With any amount of luck they should go out within the week...Wish me luck!

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