Saturday, August 27, 2016


June and July's challenge are still WIPs. Since they both use the same skill set I'll post them together on a later post. This month's challenge was actually suggested by my sister-in-law. She found this cute Pokémon Bulbasaur planter on Pintrest. Then after going to YouTube for further reference, a self watering one was discovered! The original planter was made with a 3D machine, this version is an adaptation. It was made with clay and painted afterwards and made self-watering.

With a bulk box of white Sculpty clay we began molding it. This process actually took an hour to complete. I was too focused on doing that, that I neglected to take pictures. As the main planter was baking, we made the small bowl that would hold water for the plant. After baking and painting we sealed it with a few coats of waterproof varnish. I have to admit, we began to lose some patience after painting the main planter. A piece of sponge acquired at the dollar store was cut out for the tongue. We inserted a Succulent and Poof! He's done!

Looking at my version I noticed, too late, that my Bulbasaur looked a bit cross eyed. That's okay though, I'll just say he's really focused on his aim! This was such a cute a fun project that I may make a couple more using other round-ish Pokémon, like Oddish , for example.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April's Challenge: Conclusion

I set aside the blue one and began again in Lizabeth Charcoal. The reason for this is the beads. They was too much discrepancy between the sizes that it was awkward to work.  
Even though the thread size is the same, I had better results when I got beads closer in size. Another obvious mistake is the loading of the seed beads. I still like how it turned out. Once again I began with tatting the non-beaded butterfly then the beaded one. This time around, I didn't have any thread waste.
 The antenna was made with 32 Gauge silver wire.

 The most frustrating thing was the actual "weaving" of the extra beads. I broke at least 4 needles. Today while purchasing new beads to finish this, I came across these needles in the beading section of Joann's Fabrics and Crafts store. They are large eye beading needles. They are not cheap, luckily, I had a 60% coupon that took the sting out of buying them. I don't bead, so in all honesty, I can't say if they're expensive or not but $7 for two needles is expensive to me. These wonderful needles held up to the stress of running the thread several times through the beads, with the help of some pliers.
I highly recommend watching the videos while making this for the first time. Without it for reference I would have sewn in the beads completely wrong. I will have to make this at least once more. I had it in mind to gift this. However, the first finished one I'm keeping for myself.  This is a beautiful pattern and I wished she also gave instructions on how to make the matching band to turn it into a ring. I'm going to have to visit her patterns for sale and add to my pattern collection.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April's update

Progress has been made. It took a surprising amount of thought and wasted thread to figure out the order of threading those beads. In the end I loaded them from the left upper corner of the pattern to the right. I started with the single one on the core thread then the blue. Then the white group then blue group for each wing. I only used one shuttle and left about 2 inches before starting that self closing mock ring which lies in the center. This way I kept it continuous so no extra hiding and balancing the knots out.

I did have to go back and use the videos for reference a lot. After the second mistaken bead load, I grew frustrated and did the bead-less version just to make sure I made the wings correct. Even that gave me issues at first. The graph of the pattern was playing tricks with my mind. It was the video to the rescue again. I realized when I saw the bead-less version that after the smaller 10 Ds ring, the next two rings are tatted prior to the next six chaining section. After that the Ring is thrown, which is the fourth ring on the right side then the next two rings are made before doing the next chaining section on the mock ring. The left side is the same.

When I reached the last large ring with the 4 beads in it and after making it , I threaded the core thread through the loop at the beginning of the mock ring and closed it. Then I hid that thread in the final 10Ds ring. Now I ran that thread tail through the beginning 3 Ds at the beginning of the mock ring.
This is the butterfly almost finished. The sewing in beads are giving me quite a headache. It's probably because I didn't have the correct size of beads and I'm just working with what I had on hand. I really don't like beading. This is where I wished YouTube translator actually worked better. Watching the third and fourth part of the video tutorial, made it abundantly clear that the voice over instructions held crucial information on the proper attachment of these beads. It didn't help that the camera went out of focus a few times making just watching a contributing factor to my headache via eyestrain. I'm going to stop here for tonight and post another update with the finished piece later this week.