Thursday, September 29, 2016

Nothing Pictured

Oops, I forgot to take a picture of anything yesterday, so I've got nothing of interest to show you. I did spend much, if not all of my day, knitting and reading. I reached the 90% mark in the novel and with a book this long, that both feels great and is likely a misleading milestone. I also made some nice progress on the knitting project. I'm on the fourth repeat of the pattern so it's finally starting to embed in my head. Well, that was a weird sentence. I guess what I meant is that I'm starting to work more from memory than with the printed pattern.

I start today just like yesterday with no other projects besides the knitting and reading. I don't think that I'll finish the book today. In fact I'm pretty sure the end it's still quite a few days away, but hopefully I'll make another small dent in it and maybe another repeat of the knitting pattern. Really though, I'm hoping for something more interesting to happen to give me another lace project. Anything will do, really, pretty much anything.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


 I actually had a fairly productive day yesterday despite not doing anything besides schooling until well after noon. I pulled out the shadow box frame I ordered and the newly arrived pins and selected one of the Armenian lace doilies to experiment with. A little measuring and a little cleaning off of complimentary cat hairs and I was pinning away. It actually turned out perfectly...well, I think so anyway. The pins are very short, but you can still see them and they kind of remind me of those old string art pieces from the 70's. We had a sailboat one when I was a kids. So I'm calling it this a success and will be ordering up the rest of the frames I'll need to mount the others and a nice chunk of my holiday gift giving will be completed.

I also managed to finish up the Armenian lace necklace I was remaking for the shop. What's funny about that one is how long it too me to remember how I added the beads to the thread. I forgot that I couldn't pre-load them like with tatting. Instead I eventually remembered that I knotted that section with a beading needle so that I could easily add the beads as they were needed. It's a pain to knot like that, but it's the best way to get the beads into the mix.

That leaves me starting today with only my knitting project and reading of course. The knitting is going much better now that I'm using larger needles and the reading is going much faster since I left the gibberish chapter behind. I should be able to report good progress on both tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Not Much

While I finished the tatted necklace I was remaking, I didn't get very far with the Armenian lace necklace. Schooling took up the entire morning and I decided that we needed clean clothes, so laundry ate into some of the day as well. I also scrapped my knitting project and started over with larger needles. I should really remember to ignore pattern instructions when my own experience tells me that it's coming out far too dense to make a comfy blanket, even if the gauge says it's right.

Then we had some errands to run in the evening, so there really wasn't much time to focus on anything for too long. We ended the day watching the debate, and I use the term 'debate', loosely. I know you have no interest in me going on about my thoughts regarding that, but I will tell you that I did drink some wine and yell at the television. So, all in all, it was a weird day. I'm hoping to buckle down and finish this necklace today and maybe get some knitting in. I also got the sequin pins I ordered to mount the gift doilies with so I might give that a try today, if I get some uninterrupted time. We'll just have to see how the day goes.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Weekend Recap

Well, we had quite the busy weekend. On Saturday we headed out to the coast and went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for the day. The weather was nice, but it was quite crowded. We usually go on weekdays, but we hadn't made it out at all during the summer so we made an exception. We also met up with one of my brothers who lives nearby there and had quite a lovely day. Incredibly I also got an order while we were out for a couple of necklaces; one Armenian lace one, and one tatted one.

On Sunday we got to suss out which of our circuits our smoke alarms live on because last week we had a false alarm with all 10 of them going off and further inspection informed us that they were all 10 years old and needed replacing. Just another one of the little things that makes me miss being a renter. New alarms have been ordered and then we'll have another lovely day rewiring the new ones when they arrive.

I did spend a little time tatting to remake the necklace that sold. I'm not quite done with it yet, so I've got that to finish today as well as remaking the Armenian lace one that sold. It's been quite some time since I had this much to make and I have to tell you that it makes me quite happy. Hopefully I'll get both done today, but that all depends on how complicated schooling gets today. I'm also reading a really interesting chapter in Jerusalem that's written in parlance of an insane person, that is to say that it's written in gibberish that takes an insane amount of concentration to work out, not to mention a fair amount of reading out loud. It's making me feel a bit like a crazy person, which I can only guess was part of the author's point. It is taking forever to read though, so not much progress to report there. I'm almost through it I think, so perhaps I'll be feeling a bit more successful tomorrow.

Friday, September 23, 2016

More reading, a little tatting, some knitting, and then I remembered that I had this little project tucked away in my nest.I only managed a round or two on it because it wasn't until late in the afternoon that I ran across it.

I also had to field a tatting request in my etsy shop that I was disappointed to have to turn down especially since I could really use the sale. The request was for a custom designed mask. Why did I say no? Well, there are a few reasons. Designing something from scratch can be a long drawn out process with lots of trial an error. You know I love to design new pieces, but doing so on a deadline is incredibly stressful and without an inspiring idea to start with, crazy hard. There's also the matter of price. It's hard enough to price a piece once the final one has been created, it's impossible to guess at one before the design is done, so either I charge too much for what turns out to be a simple design, or more likely I charge far too little for something that takes forever to design and make. Lastly, there's the issue of pleasing the customer which could involve more than one prototype as designs and elements are rejected, meaning lots more work and the possibility of never creating what they were looking for and losing the sale altogether. It's just too much stress.

Don't get me wrong, I have on many occasions designed from scratch for customers, but not usually masks and never without some sort of inspiring moment in the request. Mostly I'm asked to simply modify existing pieces with colors or enhancements or to design something to a very specific shape or size. I had to turn this one down, because I knew I couldn't do it and be satisfied with the outcome, but man do I hate saying no.