Monday, December 26, 2016

2017 New Years Day Card

Rather than sending Christmas cards, a few years ago I started sending out New Years greetings cards instead. I think it started when I got so far behind in my holiday preparations that no cards were ready for mailing till after the holiday. This year, instead of making cards by gluing something onto card stock (as with the "Holiday Hearts"), I made cards using a photograph I took a couple of years ago of a garland of paper snowmen hung in front of a map of North Carolina. Thus the name of the card's design, "Snowmen Across North Carolina"...both a cute image and a bit improbable as it would be impossible to build snowmen across this state unless we had an unprecedented winter weather event that stretched from the western mountains to the eastern coastline.

On a technical note: printing these cards seemed to bring out all my latent dyslexia. I thought I would never get the photo positioned to print in the right part of the card stock even after many test runs on regular paper. After finally getting the photo rotated the way I needed it, I still couldn't get it to fit the dimensions of the card correctly. Using MS Word, I set the paper size to that stated on the package -- 5" by 7"-- but the photo was still not printing right. In one of those major "Duh" moments I finally realized that those dimensions were for the folded card, but I was feeding the card into the printer opened up to its full size: 10" by 7"... boy, did I feel stupid. Once I reset the paper measurements everything proceeded without a hitch. 

Note to self: I must never, never, never lose the file for this card as I know I will need it as a model for future cards unless I want to go through another 2 hours of figuring out how to do it again.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Tatted Little Holiday Hearts

As a quick gift I tatted hearts for three of my co-workers at the Ten Thousand Villages store in Cary, NC, where I volunteer each Sunday. This is  Rosemarie Peel's heart pattern and is available for free on the Ring of Tatters website. Over the years, I must have tatted this pattern well over 100 times. I love it because it works up fast and is mostly chains so very little thread is needed on the shuttle. Peel suggests loading the shuttle with 3 yards of thread, but I find that it takes about 2 yards for me.

I bought the thread in a little yarn shop in Budapest this summer as one of the souvenirs from my trip to Central Europe. The thread is Poppets Eldorado in green and red. I especially like it because, unlike other "Christmas-y" colorways, there is no white in it. I think the addition of white dilutes the strong visual impact of the complementary colors red and green. 

The label says it's a 16...not sure what that is comparable to in U.S. sizing, but it appears to me to be similar to size 20. It's a little fuzzier than Lizbeth thread, but it tatted up with no problems. From researching it on the web I see it is primarily sold in Europe as a crochet thread. There are 385 meters on the ball, so I'll probably be making many more pieces with it. 

By the way, I also made the snowflake sticker that attaches the heart to the card. I found some snowflake images on the Web and sized them to fit on a 1" by 4" Avery address label and then ran them off on my inkjet printer.