Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Stitching update, a blast from the past, and yet another glass experiment gone wrong.

Stitching Update - Harry Potter Pillow Project

First off, a quick update on the Harry Potter Pillow Project. I've gotten the rest of the top border completed, and started the snake on the Slytherin banner. I'll continue to work on that, even if the progress is just sort of inching along. I've got a lot going on with work and real life right now, but hey - progress is progress, right?

Next up on the list after the two banners will be...more borders! The lower half, to be precise. I'll update the stitch counter once I've had a chance to sit down and *gulp* count the stitches...

A blast from the past!

There seems to always be that friend of the family - someone close enough to the point where the line between blood and friendship blurs, and nobody really cares that there's no actual blood relation at all. They're usually "Uncle" or "Aunt" or some other moniker. 

My sisters and I, and my parents of course, had Mrs. Roby, or "Mrs. R" as we affectionately called her - but never to her face, of course. She was another Grandmother to my sisters and I, and somewhat of a beloved Auntie sort of figure for my mom. 

When Mrs. R. finally passed away, she tried to leave something for each of my sisters - I've finally located the old sewing box that she wanted me to have. It's fallen into a little bit of disrepair, but unfortunately life sort of gets in the way and it had to go into storage for an unforseen amount of time. It's an old box, one that she used to keep around for minor repairs and mending. I had shown interest in embroidery and cross stitch at some point when I was little, so she decided that among her various items, this one was mine.

Now that I've had a chance to get it out of storage, there'll need to be some obvious cleanup work - there's plenty of dust, but other than some discoloration, the wood itself is in surprisingly good shape,with maybe a couple knicks here and there and the occasional scuff.. A little oil and some elbow grease should have it back in good shape, though I'm almost hesitant to start on the restoration work since I'm not sure what might ruin it or if there's a "proper way" to restore it. Once I can make some room in my house for it, it's going to be the first addition to an eventual Stitching Corner!

And finally, some not-so-Lucky Charms. 

So...I found out that charms don't hold up so well at high temperatures.

The "before" picture
In retrospect, I should probably have known, but I couldn't help but hope that they might hold their shape instead of melting into an amorphous blob. 

In this batch, I've learned a couple things. First, that there is probably a limit to how many pieces can go into a firing before you have to either lengthen the firing program, or up the heat. I'm thinking that in this case, the limit for my kiln without going for a longer firing program will probably be around 4-6 pieces max.

Second, charms are cute and all, but better left for resin or bead work. As you can see, the shapes didn't hold up so well, with the little star/moon charm being the only recognizable piece left.

Three, there are only so many times a piece can be fired before it just says, "No way, I'm not going to do what you want me to do. EVER." See the top left two pieces for examples.
The "after" picture

So, while there were some interesting results, there aren't any that I would really want to turn into a finished piece for purposes of selling. The three top right pieces (the orange/white and two small blue cabochons) are the only salvageable pieces for such a purpose, but that's alright - I'm learning more about what my kiln can and can't do with each experiment and each firing, so I don't count it that big a loss!

Off to more experimentation!

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