Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Great Gift Reveal - Part 4

Oh my how the end of the year has snuck up on me this year. So very much has happened for me in the past year, but all that can wait. I have more handmade gifts to share with you today.

Originally I had purchased a Dalmatian print by johnwgolden for my mother, but her birthday present was running late in the mail so I gave it to her then. As a result I had to rush to find another handmade gift for the holiday. This one is from TheSofterSide. It was really too simple to make a great gift, but it worked well as a compliment to existing items. She has a great love for the Dalmatian and she almost always has a Dr. Pepper can in her hand, so if nothing else she has plenty of opportunity to use it.

My brother in law is also hard to shop for, but after he expressed great desire for brass statues to place atop his mantle. The vintage sellers on etsy had plenty of pieces for me to choose from. I settled on this family of ducks from theSaturdayShoppe and a unicorn from stephieD . The unicorn was especially interesting as it is identical to one his parents bought decades ago.

For my mother in law and my sister I added these cute little yarn shaped soaps from aBreathofFrenchair and I bought a few soaps from dennisanderson as well to add to gifts to others. They smell wonderful and make a great finishing touch to a box full of gifts, especially for people with yarn stashes the size of my mother in laws.

The last set of gifts I bought were from RedMarionette. From her I bought a whole bunch of finger puppets for stocking stuffers. They are so very cute and well made. Though I think I picked up a few more things throughout the last few months I shall stop the sharing here. I was certainly happy with all of my purchases and I got the impression that they were well received as well. Tomorrow starts a whole new year and I wish the best for all of you and yours!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Great Gift Reveal - Part 3

So you might be wondering how many of these posts I'm gonna do...well I don't know. There is at least one more after this. Honestly, these have allowed me to keep blogging though my life is not back on schedule yet. Since we have one more week of holiday strangeness and our annual trip to Macworld next week, it will be a while before normality is reached again.

Today, I shall drag out the jewelery gifts I picked out. First off is a return order to zozo. Her garden is full of really unique pieces that I wish I had occasion to wear. Lucky for me, my brothers girlfriend Mary has just the right look to pull off these great pieces. They come gift wrapped in the cutest boxes and I'm certain to buy more from her in the future.

For my sister, I visited two extremely different jewelry artisans. The first is an old etsy friend ahna. She make the most wonderful silver hammered jewelry and handcrafted stone cabochons. I own some earrings and a gorgeous ring that she made. This was one piece that I honestly almost kept for myself mostly because I adore the amazing purples in the piece, but I let it go reluctantly. I hope my sister appreciates the sacrifice.

For something completely different and much more casual, I visited azurine. I picked up both this set of earrings and a pendant. They are hand painted glass pieces. They have a very simple yet striking design that is perfect for an everyday look. I'm sure I could have kept these too, but as a stay at home type, I tend to pick one pair of silver earrings and wear them constantly.

The last thing I'd like to show off today was a gift I received from my husband. He selected this ring from CatherinetteRings that he found in my favorites. The really interesting thing about this rings is that I generally do not like wire wrapped rings. Usually they give off the vibe of not just handmade, but too easy to make. This is not that kind of ring. It is made in such a distinctive style, is comfortable and, well awesome. It has this great steampunk vibe even in silver which is great for me since I only do silver jewelry.

Tomorrow, I have some more handcrafted goodness to share and who knows maybe the next day too. Sure I could have done one long post, but this way the artisans that created my Christmas get a little more attention.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Great Gift Reveal - Part 2

I had a hard time deciding whether to do jewelry or manly gifts today. I have settled on showing off the gifts to the men in my life. I don't know about you, but buying on etsy for the males in my life is, well, challenging. They are not a bunch of hipsters or even classic man types so I have to look long and hard. First up is a gift for my brother who is in his first year as a high school teacher. He also has an obsession with the ocean and sharks. This tie from simplyneckties seemed like s good place to start.

Both of my brothers are also into photography and I thought that these key chains from TimothyAdamDesigns would be a perfect addition to their gifts too. They are small and interesting, though I have to admit that one of my brothers had to be told that it was a camera...oh well, I tried.

My youngest brothers obsessions include not only photography, art and his cats, but also bikes. I really thought I was done shopping when I saw this clock by 1byliz. Not only is this piece made from salvaged materials, but unlike a lot of recycled things, it is very chic looking. I was really excited to find this one for him.

One last handmade thing today. This one was for my father-in-law who is notoriously hard to shop for. It's not because he is very picky, but he simply buys himself what he actually wants. We usually give him a plethora of gift cards and that appears to make him happy, but I was determined to get him something handmade. I settled on this wood puzzle by sopsop88 , though I won't be really surprised if he never puts it together. It's still a neat little piece to add to all those gift cards.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Great Gift Reveal - Part 1

For my first great handmade gift reveal, I shall start with the stuffed. I have been so lucky to find so many wonderful sellers that will make exactly what you imagine. The first pieces I had made were by weirdbuglady. My daughter has an obsession with praying mantids and thankfully I knew exactly where to get one made. This pieces was made to very realistic specs and it is huge and cuddly to boot. While I was at it, I had her make a small rat for my husband. Even though we are currently without rat friends mostly for fear that the one year old would not be gentle, we love the ratties so much.

For my next piece of stuffed goodness, I asked the sweetestpea to make me a special penguin for my mother in law. She loves the color green and she loves the penguins, so a fat penguin seemed the ideal gift for her. Not only was the stuffie made quickly and in the perfect shade, but a personal touch of a mask was added. It always shocks me to find out that the sellers I admire so much know who I am and what I make. I was very impressed with the quality of this little guy. It would have been at home in a very high end toy store.

My last stuffie was a ready made piece that was perfect for my youngest daughter, who for some reason loves apples. Maybe she just loves saying apple, I'm not sure, but either way this was the handmade piece of goodness for her. Made by PterodactylPants, it's a huge rainbow apple that also reveals a household affection for apple computers that goes way back. It like the other pieces, is soft, well made and exactly what I wanted for a gift.

I have barely scratched the surface of the handmade gift reveal today, so stay tuned for more wonderful pieces next week. It was a pleasure shopping with these sellers and I do recommend them wholeheartedly for all your stuffed needs.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

T'was the day before Christmas and I just finished wrapping the gifts. Back from the coast where the weather was warmer, the people were nicer and the days not nearly long enough, I find myself exhausted and rested all at once. I both love and loath the holidays and I'm glad that they are almost upon us. I really can't wait to share all the gifts that I bought for the family on etsy and I really hope that they love them as well. So much work went into both their creation and their selection and I always worry that a few will fall flat.

I have not picked up a tatting needle in a couple of days and with all the cleaning I must do to host the holiday meal, I'm certain that they will be neglected just a while longer. While I was quite happy with the many sales I received during the last few weeks and I will surely be disappointed to see them dwindle down, I am also looking forward to a little rest and perhaps some time to create new pieces. I've also let a bunch of pieces expire and I will probably donate them someplace since they no longer fit in with my other things.

We also took a trip to Gold Coast Tattoo while we were in Monterey and added some fresh ink in honor of our daughters. My mother-in-law also added a bracelet to her already extensive collection of small tattoos. I haven't uploaded any of my vacation photos yet, but as soon as I do, I'll share a little of my trip with you.

So, have a Merry Christmas tomorrow if that is your thing, if not have some other happy holiday and I'll see you in a couple of days!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Down By The Sea

Well folks, I'm off the the coast for a couple of days. We're going to Monterey and then we'll be back for the Holiday so posting shall be at best sporadic for the next week or so. I hope everyone has a lovely holiday season. We did not do a Solstice party this year due to my daughters ear infections, but I hope you had a good one of those as well.

I'm taking a break from the tatting for a while as well because when I get back to it, I will be remaking all of my favorite pieces that sold out during holiday shopping and that is a daunting task. So see you all later!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Marketing Genius

I've made it a habit of late to simply follow anyone who follows me on twitter at least until they do something annoying enough to get me to unfollow them. Recently I begun following a bloke who apparently specializes in craft businesses. Right after I followed him back, he sent a direct message asking me what my most pressing marketing question was. I thought about it for a bit and then realized that I really don't want to market myself at all.

I know that probably seem anti productive, but at this point I really don't want to bother. When I first started selling, sure I was jumping up and down and screaming look at me in as many ways as I could think of, but now I just want to maintain. I started the blog because I was told it was a good marketing tool, but honestly I just do it now because I like to write about my experiences and I couldn't care less if I'm getting more traffic or not. I started on twitter for the same reason and I certainly use it to announce that I just listed something or posted something, but I like it better for the interaction with like minded folk than as a ploy to get customers.

I don't post ads anywhere unless it's part of a team ad and I've really lost interest in expanding my store fronts to other venues. I don't sell at fairs or shows or any brick and mortar stores. I find I have enough business to justify my continued creations and I am sufficiently busy especially given that I have two small kids to take care of as well. Do I still want to be famous? Damn skippy, I do, but I'm content to keep making interesting pieces and waiting to be discovered. So my marketing plan is as little marketing as possible. I know, genius, right?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Getting Back To Normal

Yesterday I again did something odd. I cleaned the house. For the first time since my daughter got her ear infections, both children were happy enough to leave to their own devices as I whirled through the house vacuuming, washing dishes and doing the laundry. It was not an exciting day, but I have to tell you, I feel better that I got the cleaning done before the house started to rebel.

I worked some more on the crocheted shoes, but it looks like my choice to use existing materials particularly for the sole is resulting in a less than stellar specimen. After I finish these, I'll go ahead and make a pair as slippers and hopefully those will look good enough to show off. All I managed to tat yesterday was a few more pendants for fellow steamteamers. I felt awfully guilty leaving out the enormous stack of packages for my mail carrier to pick up, but they are all off on their way now and that is a huge relieve.

I am again feeling pressure to share some of my patterns. I've had such a great response to both the scarf pattern that I shared here on the blog as well as my instructable for the tatted mask. I can't decide however, on what to share next. Should it be something simple like the scarf that newcomers can try out or something more complex like one of my collar necklaces? If you've any opinion on the matter, please share. I think that after the holidays I will get another pattern up somehow and I am still mulling the idea of repeating the tatting challenge. It was a lot of work, but if I have enough people that want to participate, I'll definitely do it again.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just For Me

I did something odd yesterday. I bought a crochet shoe pattern and I started making them. I honestly can't remember the last time I made something just for me. It has also been a hogs age since I crocheted anything. It's been even longer since I knitted. What's funny is the whole reason I picked up tatting in the first place was because I was burnt out from too much knitting and crochet and I needed something new to try. A few years later I'm still tatting and I find it just as challenging as it is relaxing for me. I hadn't even had the desire to revisit my previous vices until recently. I plan on taking a tatting vacation the week of Christmas and maybe I'll pick up some knitting needles and reconnect with my inner knitter.

The shoes I'm working on are from a pattern by Sylver. I'm just using yarn from my stash and some old hemp thread doubled that I had from my macrame days. Crocheting with the hemp is, well, uncomfortable and I got several fibers stuck in my finger as I doubled the thread. They will no doubt look very little like the great ones in the picture, but that's fine. I count the first draft as a prototype. It also didn't help that I don't have an 'I' hook on hand of course. If they turn out alright I'll show them off and if not this is the last you'll hear about them.

This is actually the first pattern I've bought from etsy as I am a cheapskate and I usually just adapt free patterns to my purposes, but this one looked so comfortable and well fitted that I thought I'd splurge on one. It's fairly well written and looks very professional and I had it emailed to me in a matter of minutes. She's got another pattern I like as well and perhaps I'll make some slippers for the kids too. I guess it depends on how adventurous I'm feeling and how much of a break I need from up stocking the store with tatting.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Handmade Holiday Part 2

Yesterday I got my very last etsy ordered gift. I was really excited that I managed to get so many handmade presents that my family will actually like. I was really worried going into the holidays that I would have a hard time finding things they would actually appreciate and enjoy and there were a couple of people I gave up on trying for. For the most part it was a success and now is the hard part...waiting. You see, I really want to show off all these great things I got, but I can't. I have to wait until after the holidays because some of my family reads the blog.

This annoyance gave birth to a great idea I'm calling Gifts Exposed. Right after Christmas I shall begin posting all the etsy gifts I gave away and give each of their creators a little shout out as a thank you. I bought enough that it should take up at least the better part of the week. It should also provide a break from all my tatting talk. Of course I am now reminded that though all my shopping is well done, I still need to pull out all those hidden gifts and get wrapping. I really dislike wrapping gifts mostly because I have cats and kids that like to "help". Their efforts extend the wrapping time considerably.

I've got a couple of pieces I'd like to remake for the store today, but I'm officially caught up with mask orders. I did make a slave bracelet in black that I plan on getting listed today, but that depends on whether the kids let me take pictures later or not. It will only fit someone with a tiny hand such as myself, but there are plenty of us out there...I think. I also have to finish tatting my gifts for the SteamTeam members. I'm really glad to be able to give so much this year and I hope next year is even better.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring

Well, at least here it is and it has me in a sedentary mood. It's a good thing that I made it out of the house on Saturday to finish the last of the Holiday shopping, namely the gift certificates that make up for the other, let's say less pricey gifts. Otherwise we spent another weekend in trying to help the kids heal and while the youngest is now fine the oldest is still in need of stay at home TLC.

I finished up a custom mask and then got a request for a pair of slave bracelets. That is one piece of jewelry that I always wanted and could never wear. I just couldn't seem to pull the look off at all so I gave up. When I started tatting cuffs I toyed with the idea of making some, but I could never come up with a way to make them adjustable to fit a wide range of hands. With a proper set of measurements, I was finally able to design a pair and lucky for me the measurements were nearly the same as my own.

I started with my 'La Petite Goth' cuff and substituted another vintage pattern for the pointed section. I added a matching medallion in the center and then made a Josephine ring for, well the ring. To wear the bracelet, you simply put the ring portion on first and hook the bracelet. I wore the first one around for a little while and it moved well with my hand and was fairly comfortable. I'm certain that I will make another to sell, perhaps as a custom piece so I can adjust the pattern to other sized hands.

I thought I wouldn't get around to these until this week, but I needed a break from making up masks and the process of design really provides a diversion from the monotony of remaking the same pieces over and over again. Of course now that they are done, I'm back to the masks. It was fun while it lasted and since the holiday rush has now reduced to a trickle perhaps I'll get to create a little more going forward.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Limited Edition

One up side to being glued to the couch comforting a sick child, is the amount of tatting I can get done. Yesterday was another down sales day, so I broke out the hand dyed thread I bought a bit ago and started working. I bought the thread solely because I liked the colors and thought it would be nice to finally try out the hand dyed stuff. The colors weren't quite as vivid as I thought and since the seller was new to dying there are a few white spots, but I generally liked the effect.

I decided to just start tatting pieces to see how far the small skein would get me. The answer is two necklaces and three pendants. At least now I know that if I like another colorway, I can probably complete a mask or collar necklace easily with one skein. I am so bad at gauging the amount of thread I need for a project mostly because I don't need to know. One ball of thread will last so many pieces that I pay little attention at all.

Anyway, all the pieces made with this thread will hopefully all be listed today. I've got a couple more things that I'd like to get remade and listed and then I have a goodie bag of yarn that was gifted to me so I was thinking about working on a new scarf or caplet. Of course this all depends on the mood of the kids as I am completely at their whim at least until they are feeling better.

Hopefully next week will start out with healthy children and a happy household for the holidays...yes, I am knocking on wood.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nice And Calm

After what must have been a whole week of whirlwind events, yesterday was strangely quiet. No emails, no orders, no drama at all. I have to admit it was kind of nice. I spent most of the day comforting one sick child and keeping the well child entertained so she would stop jumping on her sister. I worked a little on a custom mask, but other than that, there was no tatting either. I suppose it is too soon to say whether this is the calm after the storm or simply a false calm like the eye of the storm.

So with all the non events of yesterday, I really have little to say today. Ooh, I did get some lovely earrings I ordered in the mail yesterday. So, I guess I'll show them to you. They are from duckduckgoosestuff and I absolutely love wearing them. I love unique earrings with simple lines, but have a nasty habit of losing them. I doubt that is possible as they would have to do some ridiculously complicated swerves to get out of my ear without me knowing.

I also want to pick up some of her ear coils meant to coil through several holes since I have 4 on the lobes of each ear and I love lacing ear threads through them. These pieces are incredibly simple, but create a striking image and I'm so glad I found this shop across the pond!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Times, They Are Changing

I don't read blogs, not really anyway. Given that, it's odd that I find myself feeling a little guilty for not reading the few that I do follow. I don't read them because they have great features or are particularly well written or exciting. I read them because I like the folk that write them. It has become my way of keeping up with a little piece of their lives much like I would call an old friend to catch up. I've just been so busy with so many different things lately. Most prominent is my poor sick kids, but I've also spent more time dealing with orders and tatting than I ever have before.

I think that this change in my daily dynamic is starting to settle in and I'm starting to really notice the changes. I haven't posted in a forum topic in what must be weeks save for the daily blog thread. I haven't been spending time hanging out on twitter, just posting now and again and staying just long enough to catch any responses. I'm not compulsively checking the Steamteam forum, or my google analytics, flickr or anything else I used to do on a regular basis. I'm writing a blog post, dropping the links and getting out of my virtual world.

Sure, I still have the laptop at an arms length and I check my email...a lot, but things have definitely changed. I don't know it will all stick when the kids are better and the holidays are over. I'm not even sure whether it's better or worse this way, just different. I do hope these kids heal up soon though, that part is weighing on my sanity something fierce. Well, back to the real world.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another High, Another Low

I'm afraid it's gonna be another short one today. My household has been struggling with colds and ear infections for a week and since both of my oldest daughters' eardrums have burst now, it should be another week of the same. We're all a bit exhausted and though there are some good patched throughout the day it's rough going generally.

In a twist that really shouldn't surprise me at all, fate has thrust a streak of unprecedented attention on my tatting just as my attention is required elsewhere. I can not complain about the high level of orders that have resulted from the attention, I can't even complain about the amount of custom orders that are keeping my hands busy as I cuddle my kids, but it is certainly unfortunate timing.

I promised a short blog, but I do have one more small thing to share. Yesterday I had a seriously, and I'm not overselling it, an O.M.G. moment. Just as my husband was back to work after lunch I received an order from what appeared to be a T.V. show. I shared this with him and he asked, "Are you sure?" to which I answered, "No". Well a couple of google searches later, I was sure. The name checked out as the property manager of said show. I was understandable excited. I really don't know if there is an unwritten rule about talking about these sort of things. I know that often people on the etsy have sold to celebrities and have refused to name names to protect the privacy of the customer, but does that apply here?

I learned this morning that another seller I know also sold something to the same person/show and that increases the possibility that the item will be on the show. This is really huge as it is a very buzzed about show, that I don't watch, but who cares right? I guess I'll share more details later if I feel comfortable that in doing so I don't burn bridges or upset some order I'm unaware of. Suffice it to say, it was a bittersweet day full of sickness infused lows and tatting infused highs and I'm not sure where I'm going from here.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I just had an amazing milestone occur this morning, my 5ooth sale on etsy. I really wish I had more time to get excited, but truth be told I'm almost busier than I can handle both with orders and two kids who seem to want to stay sick as long as possible. I'm backed up on mask orders, (thanks Boing Boing) and I've got a couple on non pays to babysit as well. Heck, I wanted to do a big 500th sale deal, but it happened before I could set anything up. I guess I'll save the hoopla for the 1000th order. I should have time to get that one set up...I think.

I have to make it really short this morning, but I also wanted to quickly share that after all the instructables/craft/boingboing stuff that occurred with my tatted mask, I did manage to get a real instructable up for the mask. For the uninitiated, that the pattern and step by step instructions. You can find it here: It is written assuming that you are at least an intermediately skilled tatter, so I apologize to beginners who think I wrote it in Greek or something. Even if you don't tat you can check it out to see the evolution of one of my more complex pieces and leave some comments so i know you visited. Alright, back to the kids and those masks.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Normally, I don't keep harping on the same subject two days in a row. It's boring and most event don't really have any more development to follow anyway, but today is different. The tatted mask fame that began yesterday continued to my amazement and shock. First I received a google alert that the mask had been posted on Crafts blog. This was amazing enough, but this morning I awoke to another alert that the craft post had been picked up by boing boing! Even my husband was shocked at this one. It's one thing to make the rounds of the craft circuit, but it's quite another when a site my husband frequents features me.

Honestly, I'm still reeling a bit. Whats even more surreal is that this is not just a picture of a piece that I made, but a picture of ME wearing a piece I made. My face is literally plastered across the web right now and that my friends is something I never imagined would happen to me. Even though my face is covered by a mask and I'm not likely to ever be recognized it's

My sales have been brisk as well, either coincidentally or not I've had no time to make anything new or old and I just spent the first part of the morning packing up orders. It's a good thing that the kids are feeling a bit better or I would be having a breakdown right now. I have no idea if this kind of exposure will be long lasting or just another 15 minutes of fame, but I'm sure enjoying the ride. Please check out the links and comment if you have time!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Tatted Mask Strikes Again

You might have noticed that I wasn't around yesterday. I have a really good excuse though. My daughters eardrum burst and her sister was sick as well. We spent the morning at the doctors office and I spent the rest of the day playing nursemaid to the two of them. There was a lot of napping, but while they were awake, there was crying and clinging and I guess blogging really didn't seem important.

As the evening arrived, they did seem a bit better and I received an email from flickr. My tatted mask had won a third place in the diy/instructables Halloween contest in the costume category. I had entered simply by adding a photo to their flickr pool and I almost forgot about it, assuming of course that I had no chance up against some of the amazing creation featured there. In the message I received, it was suggested that I also upload a slideshow to the site which required no step by step instruction, so I went ahead and did so again assuming it would be lost among the other more interesting thing on the site. Moments later I received a message saying that the slideshow was featured on the front page of Instructables. I've no idea how it will be there, so run now and take a look.

It has been pointed out that there are no instructions, so why is it featured? I've no idea, they thought it was cool enough I guess. I will tell you though, the interface to make the slideshow was super easy and I just might have to try my hand at listing some patterns there in the future. So a bad day ended on a high note and the tatted mask has again asserted itself as my claim to fame. I still laugh that it started out as a custom request from someone who changed their mind. I guess the moral of the story is, if someone challenges you to make something unexpected, take the challenge, you never know where it might take you!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Doctor Mom

The chaos at my house has grown considerably in the last day as the second child gets sick and the first has developed an earache that she doesn't understand. Taking care of sick children is so very all encompassing and exhausting. The guilt over not being able to make it all just go away is the worst of all. I feel like I should have some sort of magic parent wand that fixes everything, but alas there is no such wand and all the reassurance in the world does not take the pain away. I suppose I should stop beating myself up over it, but since the kids are so young I know that this is just the beginning of many more things I can't fix and I feel a little helpless.

I did finish my most recent custom order yesterday. It was the second scarf tatted in my Art Deco pattern. This time around it worked up much faster since I knew where I was going with it when I started. The yarn was a hand dyed merino wool from It's a much richer brown than my pictures reveal. I really like giving people the option of picking their own yarn to make the scarfs with. Plus, it means I'm not spending days making a scarf in colors than may or may not appeal to anyone but me.

I got a few more ideas for projects by looking at my google analytics for the blog yesterday. Every time a search brings people to the blog, I get to see what it was they were searching for and it has certainly given me some interesting ideas over the last few months. Of course, I'm otherwise occupied with sick children so it may be a while before any of them come to fruition, but it's nice to add more things to that imaginary project list. Back to the kids now, I hope they feel better soon!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Long Weekend

I'm certainly feeling a little muddled up this morning and it was an amazingly long weekend. It all started with a visit from an old friend, then the Thanksgiving meal at our house. This was followed by a trip to the movies on Friday, decorating the tree on Saturday and a Sunday in with a sick kid. Even though I was able to write that all out in a single thought, it was a very long and drawn out span of time with little of consequence actually getting done.

I got in some yarn on Saturday that was ordered to make a custom tatted scarf, so once I got that all rolled up, I started work on the scarf. I was actually amazed at how much faster the Art Deco scarf is coming along this time. Though I did need to constantly refer back to the pictures of the one I sold for the edging, the motifs worked up like clockwork and the project I was afraid would take up the better part on the week could be done as early as this evening. Speaking of custom order fear, I finally sold the custom caplet to its intended recipient. I had worried that it would not meet expectations, but I worried for nothing. This of course does not mean that I will cease irrational stress over custom orders, but it really is a relieve to have this one on its way to its owner.

Weekend sales were not amazing, but better than I had thought they would be. I still don't think that my free gift or shipping upgrade swayed any casual shoppers and it is much more likely that these purchases would have been made anyway. Still, I feel pretty good about sending freebies out for the holidays. I used to do it with every order, but soon I was spending more time tatting free bookmarks than I was making things to sell. Really, I think people just want what they ordered made well, shipped quickly and friendly customer service, so that's what I've done since.

Well, the other kid is sick now and it promises to be an even longer week than it was a weekend. I did try out an old tatting pattern called beading over the weekend that might make it into the store this week in the form of a new necklace and bracelet, but no promises. I'm likely to remain muddled up for a bit longer.