Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fabric Test #2

OK folks! The last test results are in and I can tell you right now that this fabric and this paint are so unbelievably awesome it blows my mind!

I took my painted fabric with me to the pool last night where I proceeded to beat it senseless! Just kidding of course! I did rub it forcefully (while soaking wet) on the super coarse ledge and all over the pool floor. The paint didn't so much as fade! The fabric itself stood up super well too! And don't think I went easy on the fabric, I did my best to try to get paint off so I could see just how much abuse it could take in the pool.

I am super impressed with all of this so far and I am finally ready to take the next step with this process! Woo!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Just a few pictures of my fabric, the paint I've chosen and one of the tests I've done so far! So far I am VERY impressed with the Permaset Aqua paints, they are really awesome!

Lots to Report!

So I joined a Mermaid forum today which is pretty awesome! I have been looking for something like this for a long time now and am pretty excited!

I've also purchased the paint I will need and have completed my initial experiments on small pieces of the neoprene. I can safely say that this is going to be FULLY AWESOME. The paint sets really well and survived quite a bit of abuse as I tested it out! Making sure that I don't cut short the ironing time is the key!

WARNING: When ironing neoprene, NEVER use a really hot setting! You can really damage your neoprene this way! Also make sure that you always put a cotton fabric between the iron and your dried painted neoprene. I used the second to lowest setting for my tests and it worked really well!

I do have a lot more to report, but I have to get back to the pile of work on my desk!

Happy Swimming!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lunch Doodle

Just a quick lunch doodle I thought I should post. Enjoy!

Amazing Fins!

Last night was the most amazing swim I think I've ever had in my tail! My new fins give me such amazing propulsion in the water and allow me to do a much more efficient and effective dolphin kick. Not only that, but they are so comfortable it practically blows my mind! I had no foot cramps and I was still able to wiggle my toes! I am also stunned at the maneuverability I have in the new fins! I can make quick turns and it's much easier to swim in a tight circle!

Even more amazing, a woman came over to ask me where I had bought my tail and was so excited to see me swim! I told her I made my tail myself and that I'm currently working on a new one. I also gave her some tips and tricks for how to make her own! I was so happy to be such an inspiration to someone who also dreams of being one with the water!

I wish her lots of luck and good times on her new mermaid adventure!

All of the breathing exercises I've been doing have also been paying off and I feel I can go longer and farther than I have ever been able to before!

Also! Moo and I are getting together tonight to check out the new material and have a visit! I'm very excited! Everything is really coming together! Now if only I can survive the day of waiting I have ahead of me! Ha ha!

Keep on swimming!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Paint Research!

So the material has arrived and Moo and I will be picking it up on Thursday evening!

Since I have finally come to the point where I will need to be thinking about paints and such, I've started to do a little bit of research.

So far it looks to me like Permaset Aqua Supercover Fabric Screen Printing Ink is going to be my best bet. It sounds to me, based on what I've read and heard from others, that this paint should be able to withstand a fair bit of love in the water and still retain its stretch. I am interested since of the paints/inks I've looked at, this one seems to have the largest variety in terms of colour choices.

I am also really interested in this paint since, unlike many others, it also happens to be the most environmentally friendly and 100% solvent free.

This is really exciting for me since I was getting a little worried about what types of paint to use. I can't take all the credit for this discovery however! It is thanks to Hannah Fraser who posted a little bit of a Q & A section on her site with a small amount of info on her blue tail and some of the materials she has used in the past.

Thank you Hannah, you truly are an inspiration!

ALSO! A HUGE thanks to my very awesome Moo-tastic Moo for being AWESOME and helping me order my material! I can't wait to get started!

Have a happy Wednesday everyone!

Hee hee! It also happens to be my swim night tonight which might explain why I'm in such a fantastic mood! I'm going to try out my new flippers tonight and I will let you all know how it went tomorrow at some point!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Atlantis Found?

Yup. Apparently they've found Atlantis!!

This was tweeted by Hannah Fraser and I thought it was mildly amusing and worth a quick post before I get back to work! Make sure you read the comments after the article since some of them a pretty funny!

I guess this means all of us Merfolk can finally go home! Ha ha!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Successful Shopping Trip!

Definitely a successful shopping trip! We picked up more than just the flippers which was a nice surprise! It was also really nice since everyone we ran into today was really helpful and enthusiastic!

Below are a few photos from the day! Note that I am wearing my old blue tail which is 4 years old and a little well loved!

The new flippers are super comfortable! So much more than my old blue ones!
I'm also really excited to try out my new earplugs. The reviews on them are pretty good and I'm excited to give them a try!

All in all it was a great day and I'm really looking forward to the neoprene arriving next week so I can really get started!!

Today is the Day!

Alright folks! Today is finally the day!

I'm going fin shopping with my super awesome and super helpful Moo (Pearson Report) today! I am really excited since this means the ball has really started rolling on this project! I will also be picking up earplugs since I would like to avoid swimmers ear if I can!

Also! I would really like to thank all you wonderful people who have been following me and commenting! Big hugs all around!

I am also going to take this opportunity to award a very special award to a very special someone!

Congratulations Moo! Thanks for being Mootastic! ^^

Friday, March 11, 2011

Breathing Update!

Just a quick update since I'm pretty proud of myself! At the start of this week I could only hold my breath for 30 to 35 seconds and today I held my breath for 1 minute and 15 seconds! I haven't been able to hold my breath that long in years!

I can now easily hold my breath for 45 seconds! 1 full minute is still a little hard, but I can now get to it successfully back to back three or four times in a row! I am really hoping that by April I will be able to hold my breath for 1 min 30 sec! That would be a good start indeed!

Just thought I'd share the excitement! ^^

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Swim Night and Old Tail Report

Last night was my swim night and my boyfriend and I hit the pool at around 7:30pm. We had a ton of fun as always and since we ended up staying a little longer (after all the little kids went home), I was able to really stretch out my tail and make a few observations and take a few mental notes.

Most of these are things I already know about my tail (after all, I have been swimming in it for almost 4 years now).

For anyone thinking of making a tail out of spandex (like my old tail), be absolutely sure that the fabric is 2 way stretch and NOT 4 way stretch! And have the stretch go horizontally NOT vertically! This is so very important! I noticed as I was swimming that my tail was getting longer past my flippers... The drag kept getting worse and worse to the point where I had to stop to pull it up again!

I think either sewing both flippers into a single pocket or two separate pockets (that go all the way around the flipper instead of only part of the way) is also important so that the flippers don't get stuck in the fabric as you move.

A zipper is also going to be a HUGE improvement since at the moment my tail is made up of two pieces and is a real nuisance to get in and out of especially if the tail is already wet.

I think my biggest hurdle will be a top. I'm not so much into the whole seashell bra concept. I need something with a little more substance if you know what I mean! I like to be able to swim without worrying about what I'm wearing!

I really liked the length of my current flippers, but they are so uncomfortable that I have to stop to take foot-rubbing breaks! I think I need to find something where the whole foot is covered and not just with the strap at the back. Yup. Comfort is a good thing!

Other than all that, I had a great swim last night and was very excited that a few people came over to ask me questions about my tail! I love that people are curious and excited to see me swim! It really adds to the fun of it all!

Also! I've been doing breathing exercises for about a week now and am happy to report that I can comfortably hold my breath for 45 secs and a little less comfortably for 1 min! My record so far is 1 min 6 sec! Underwater is a bit of a different story, but so far I am between 25 and 30 sec while powering through the water. If I am swimming slowly I can hold it for a little longer.

Still a work in progress!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Updated Tail Concept

I've continued working on the design since I need to have a good idea of where this is all going by this weekend (fin shopping is happening on Saturday) and I want to make sure I'm good and ready with my plans!

I've done a lot of a lot of looking around and reading about what works and doesn't work in terms of materials and I want to keep the drag to a minimum, but I do like the idea of a little bit of fin fringe.

Also, tonight it my swim night and I'm going to take my old tail to make any last minute notes about it and what I like/don't like. I might (if I have time) post a picture of it so you guys can see what I've got to work with right now!

Happy swimming!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Colour Concept

Quite rough, but I think I like where I'm headed with the colours. The flippers will each have their own pocket that is slightly apart from the other to allow for individual movement (something I don't have in my current tail that I would like). I'm still not a 100% sure how I feel about the little fringe bits at the bottom, but if I can find a material that won't cause a lot of drag then I might go with it.

I was going to go for something more orange, but everyone seems to be following that trend lately so I thought (and my Mum suggested) that green might be a neat way to go.

So far I like it!

Neoprene is on its way! Woo!

A big thanks to my Mum over at Pearson Report for being such a superstar and helping me order the neoprene I will need to make my new tail! It is officially on it's way and should arrive in 4-5 days! Woo! The ball is officially rolling now! There's no stopping it!

I've finally gotten around to doing some drawings and designs for my new tail and am excited to start exploring some colour possibilities. Hopefully I'll have a chance to post some of this soon for you all to check out!

Safe swimming!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

World Mermaid Awards 2011

I was surfing YouTube as I often do, checking out the latest and greatest in Merfolk tails when I came across something that seriously caught my eye! The very first annual World Mermaid Awards 2011 are being held in Las Vegas!! AND there's a really good chance I'm going to get to go and be a part of all the excitement and good times! (Thanks to my awesome Mum who has always supported me and my crazy adventures!)

Can you believe this is actually happening!? I can't!! I have been waiting for something like this my entire life! And now it's actually happening for real! Not only that, but my new tail should be ready in time for the event! I can't wait!

I've had a few minor set backs with the ordering as it seems some of the websites are a little unfriendly when it comes to shipping to Canada. Oh well! I am as determined as ever and with the help of my wonderful Mum, I should be ordering everything I need by the beginning of next week! So hopefully I will be back on track soon! Keep your fingers crossed!

Keep on swimming!

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Tail in the Works

For my very first post I am excited to announce that I've finally started work on my fourth tail fully functional swimming tail!

So far I have settled on a Selkie style tail (different from any that I have done so far) with flippers instead of a monofin and neoprene instead of spandex! I will be purchasing my materials from Spandex World and this weekend and am really excited to get started!

I am going to be trying a lot of new techniques with this tail and am going to post pictures of my progress and concept art as I go!

I finally got the inspiration to make this next step while swimming last Wednesday. A little girl came up to me and was quite convinced that I was a Mermaid and was so excited to meet me! My current tail has turned into my prototype and I've been cutting pieces of it and making changes and fixes and all of this so you can imagine that it isn't the prettiest thing to look at at the moment. Yet this little girl believed! I was so touched!

I still have a lot of research to do and supplies to pick up, but I will keep updating with any happy finds and discoveries I make!

Happy Swiming!