Thursday, April 21, 2011

My magic spatula and girly power tools

One day down and 121 to go. I'm really excited about the lace. I picked up a nice firm 6 cord cordonnet 20 weight thread. It's working up really crisply and holds its shape and shows definition much better than the generic size 10 crochet cotton I used for my sample. It's going to be gorgeous! Now I just have to make yards and yards and yards of it.

Unfortunately, yards and yards of lace just aren't that exciting to watch pile up. Especially a couple of inches at a time. I decided to make an accessory or two in the meantime so that there's something interesting to look at and my pile of completed stuff gets to look a bit more substantial.

There isn't a fan in my portrait, but it is a possible accessory and I had the materials floating around the house so it was quick. I'd started one a couple of years ago, but never finished it and had pulled it to pieces. Putting it back together and figuring out how to finish it up went pretty smoothly. I'm not quite sure I like the length, and am considering cutting it down a bit, but I'm going to live with it awhile. The portraits and engravings show a variety of handle lengths so I think I'm okay either way. As it is now it fits in my hand really well and is a great fan for, well. fanning. If I decide to attach it to the girdle it might be nicer if it was a little smaller, just because it'll be less heavy. On the other hand, the girdle is already going to have a zibellini attached, so I'm thinking another large accessory might not be a great idea. Decisions, decisions.
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The reason its not smaller already was the failure of my girly power tools. I have a real Dremel somewhere around here, but it was not poking its head out yesterday and I had to use my pink buttoned Walnut Hollow tool. It was a present from my brother in law a couple of years ago. I was excited at the time, but I've since become disenchanted by it and its total lack of power. Who came up with the idea of branding "girl tools" and then making them inferior? I'd like to give that individual a piece of my mind. Pink power tools are silly and perhaps a bit degrading. I'm frustrated that my multi-tool didn't have enough oomph to really sand and shape this handle. There are little rounded grooves I put into the sides for decorative effect that at present aren't particularly visible. They do, however, make it FEEL nicer even if they aren't adding much visually.

I started with a nicely tapered spatula for the handle and then cut two pieces of leather into a fan shape and epoxied them over the end of the spatula. That made my spatula into a fabulous leather flyswatter. Then I glued the feathers in place and added a decorative piece of metal on both sides. I think they were meant to be part of a drawer pull. I bought about 20 of them at a local antique store for a quarter a piece a few years ago thinking they would grow up to be something steampunk. There's enough of them left that they still might. To jazz up the handle I added a strip of wood with a filigree look that I bought from Michaels. Then I painted the handle with an orange metallic enamel paint. To highlight the filigree in the wood and hopefully make it look more like a metal handle I rubbed it with a metallic wax in gold and a brownish bronze. Its sort of like Rub and Buff, but mine was specifically meant for painting pewter gaming miniatures.

Today's project is more lace. I also have a lot of laundry to do so we can leave town. Ooh, the excitement.

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