A plunge into the unknown

I might be totally in over my head but I did it. You might ask what I did and I am going to tell you – because now that I think more and more about it, I might just cave and run otherwise…

Last year I supported a campaign from Mini Master Works for a mobile miniature painting station and travel case on Kickstarter. It will not be delivered until March this year but it is already looking great as far as I can say from the pics in the campaign. Last week they informed us that they will be hosting the Brush Beast miniature painting competition – an online miniature painting competition for anyone willing to join.

I always wanted to participate in a painting competition but I was scared to not being good enough and therefore used the fact, that hardly any in-person competitions happen close to where I live, as a nice excuse to never give it a try. In a moment of insanity I thought it would be a great idea to enter myself in that competition though and posted the pics below in the corresponding Facebook group as my entry. It’s the mini “Lea and Belshazar” from the board game Etherfields by Awakened Realms. It’s a miniature with lots of details that will be a lot of fun to paint.

Only afterwards I googled a lot about painting competitions and checked out my competitors stating their entry mini in the group. I’m so gonna loose that competition – no way that I can compete against some of those awesome painters! So after plunging into the valley of despair and a lot of hair pulling, I am back to the phase of “I will do my best not matter what” and “I am not in it for winning”.

Now I have time to paint the miniature to the best of my possibilities until end of May. But I also need to calculate some time to shoot really great pics for the competition entry as the quality of pics will highly effect my changes on anything. Just because I might not have a high probability to win, does not mean, I do not want to TRY to win….

Beginnings in bobbin lace making

Now that 2020 is finally over, we are again able to look forward to a new year that hopefully will be much better than the last one.

While cleaning up I stumbled over a roll of sticky plastic transparent and remembered that I bought that one in order to prepare some pattern templates to teach myself bobbin lace making. I had even copied the templates from the books but never gotten to actually put those two things together. So I sat down and after a little bit of sticking the transparent on the paper and cutting the template down to size, I did not have any more excused to not getting started.

My hubby has gifted me with a roll pillow, some bobbins and tons of patterns and thread ages ago but the patterns where just too fancy and the threads (silk!) too expensive to work with them right away. So it was starting with The Beginner’s guide to Bobbin Lace by Gilian Dye and Adrienne Thunder and some pearl cotton thread I had from my period of friendship bracelet making.

Wrapping bobbins seems to take ages and I made a lot of errors wrapping them in the beginning – it’s really crazy how fast you forget things if you to not practice regularly. But learning is part of the art and now – working on the third practice piece – I am already a little bit more confident.

The cloth stitch bookworm was the first to do and it was really easy and fun. You learn a lot about tension and even though there is a little error in it, I am pretty proud of him. After that I was confused that I did not print the template for the half stitch bookwork – not realizing that I just should have used the template for the cloth stitch bookworm again. Oh my, but when I realized that, I had the template for the Torchon ground bookmark already pinned into place. I really love how that one worked out – and it was snatched away right of the pillow by my hubby. Humph…

Now I am working on the third practice piece – a Torchon ground bookmark with spiders. There the learning curve is even bigger as I have never done spiders before. I was not able to finish it yesterday, but I can tell you that it is looking great so far!

Today I ordered a flat pillow and flat pillow bobbins as well as a series of books for Torchon lace making from the bobbin lace supplier my hubby got the starter kit from. It’s a little bit hard to focus on the technique while trying not to tangle the bobbins too much on a pillow roll. I got the hang of it for now but for shawls and bracelets that I want to make in the future, a flat pillow with movable inserts might be easier to work with.