Friday, February 27, 2009

I Hope You Like Looking At My Feet

The first pair of shoes I ordered came in, so I took some pictures. There are more of them on my flickr, but here's one of each of the newest designs to enter the TotusMel catalog. The first I've just decided to call 'The Queen's Feet' which would be a play on the Viva La Reine upon which they are based. I've made this motif so many times that it is really second nature to me. They turned out exactly as I had hoped, much more dramatic than the many crocheted versions I happened upon.
Next up, we have the first of the Ankle Corset designs. This one is based on my Portrait Of An Elegant Lady collar and will be called 'Portrait of an Ankle Corset'. They took quite a bit more time to tat up than the barefoot sandals and I think they look amazing with the shoes. I am still waiting for the stiletto sandals to arrive so that I can show them off with a different look.The last one to show off is the only piece not based on something I've already made. These ones started with the edging of a 40's era centerpiece, but evolved far past that. I added quite a few elements including the motif I call, In Bloom. As you might have guessed I used that as their name, the 'In Bloom Ankle Corset'. These too will get additional photos when the sandals arrive.

I'll be listing them on etsy soon and we'll see if they were worth all the effort. Though honestly, the challenge of creating them was quite a rush and I am so glad of all the advice and suggestions I've gotten throughout the process. I think I have a special surprise for you next week as well, I'm just working out the details, so stay tuned.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Who Needs Shoes

Oh twitter, will I ever stop finding reasons to adore you? Seriously, yesterday I decided to work on my barefoot sandal idea. When I was having a creative block I asked my twitter friends for inspiration, they responded. Then after I had chosen a design to start with and shared a picture of the beginnings, they responded. When I needed advice on finishing the piece, they responded. When I was finished, I posted a picture taken with my laptop, complete with sleeping baby legs and just needed someone to pat me on the back, and you know what, they responded.

It was almost as if I was working in one room and there was a party next door. All I needed to do for help and feedback was poke my head in the other room and ask. Since my only companions while I work are two small kids and four not so small cats, this adult feedback is so wonderful and I'm officially addicted to it.

Back to the design though, I searched all around for a style that I liked in crochet or other medium and I found nothing. All the barefoot sandals foot thongs were very simplistic. The main designs were a couple of chains connected with some beads and well, they were just very meh. I like my designs much more dramatic as I'm certain you've noticed. So I searched through my pile of lace for something to start with and I settled on my Viva La Reine necklace design. It was originally a motif for a chair covering. I added some rings and a toe lop on one corner. Then Instead of making a spiral chain to go around the ankle I crocheted a long chain and added a tatted ring at the end, you know for decorative purposes.

I still need to finish up the second one and get proper photos, but I have a dental appointment to finish my root canal so the day might be shot. I also got my first pair of ridiculous shoes suggested by you all in yesterday and the sandal stilettos should be here next week and I can get pictures of all the footwear to list. Who would have thought that I would be making tatted pieces to wear on your feet. It is still crazy to me that I've taken this craft in so many different directions. I wonder where I will fly off to next?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tattooed Needle Tatter

Here we are again at personal reveal time. As it has become a custom, I shall now do a quick recap of what you have learned thus far. First I told you how TotusMel, the name was born. Then I shared my first dead dream, followed by the origin of my hair color and finally, how I met my husband. Today I shall tell you the story that gives me a reason to call myself a tattooed needle tatted by answering another question that nobody ever asked.

How did you get your first tattoo?

I think that is worth noting that by the time I was 16, I had adopted, let's say, an alternative appearance. Multi-colored hair wraps, hair of unnatural shades, and gobs of junk jewelry worn all at the same time. Underneath all of this I was just a little geek. Sure I had my fair share of drunken night, but I avoided the drugs and really had no "unsavory" friends, I just looked like I might. When the blond, rich girl that sat next to me in French class started going on about where to find someone who would tattoo a 16 year old because she assumed I knew someone, I just thought to myself that I wasn't going to allow her to get one first.

This was just the beginning of the 90's tribal tattoo, tramp stamp era, but since I didn't actually know anyone that could help me and the Internet was still sometime away from existing at my house, I set about helping myself. Using all the knowledge that television could provide, I opted for a sterilized needle and since I didn't want a "prison" ink tattoo that would fade to blue, I decided to use, and this confirms my crafting cred, fabric paint. My reasoning being that it was non-toxic. To further my geek stature I decided to place said tattoo on the top of my big toe in the shape of the Star Trek symbol. Days later the whole thing peeled off as a scab. Turns out that I did not stab deep enough and I'm left with some faint and unrecognizable splotches.

I was not going to let this setback derail my plan to have the tattoo first, so I went straight back to work. This time I placed the design on my ankle just behind the anklebone. It was a small flower that looked like a five year old had drawn it complete with red petals and a green leave, but I was proud none the less. I then proceeded to do an ankh on the other ankle.

Of course now I had another problem, my mother. I began using a ball point pen to trace over the tattoos to convince her that I was simply drawing them on everyday. After a few months I stopped and when she finally acknowledged them I flippantly retorted that I had had them for months. I do not think that she was amused, but it was too late to do anything about them.

Since then they have faded horrible and are barely recognizable and I've gotten quite a few more tattoos done right, but that's a reveal for another day. I have said for years that I will eventually get something done over them, but the truth is they have become part of my history. They are a reminder that some decisions stay with you and you can either regret them or own them. Perhaps I'll get frames tattooed around them instead to give them a place of honor rather that disgrace.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Ankle Corsets

I managed to finish the first ankle corset using the design I showed off yesterday. Then I got a custom order so I had to stop work on the second one. Of course, I still have to wait for my shoes for them to have a proper photo shoot and I need to work out a better way to take pictures of my own feet as well. I think I am going to stick with ankle corset as the name for these pieces, but I still haven't settles on a price point.

When I do finally finish up this pair I am going to try to work out a barefoot sandal design that will have a toe loop as many of you have suggested. I do have fairly small feet, so it might be a challenge to devise a pattern that will fit more sizes than just mine. I probably won't add beads, at least not at first mostly because I don't like working with them all that much.

Good news on my instructable, I received an email this morning telling me that that it is now 'popular' and has been returned to the front page. This just means a little more exposure for the tatting. In a month or so, I plan on doing one that will teach split rings and spiral or Josephine chains. I'm also aware that I did not do a personal reveal post last week. I figured all my talk of tooth pain and jury duty was verging on too much information as it was so I skipped it. Tomorrow, I will have one for you, though I don't really think anyone is waiting on pins and needles to find out more mundane details of my life.

Monday, February 23, 2009

More For Your Feet

It was a fairly downbeat weekend so I managed to work out another pattern for my impending line of anklet footwear. This one started with a 40's era pattern for a centerpiece edging. Then I added matching motifs across the top and used my In Bloom motif in the center. The last time I went ahead and made the prototype in black thread because it's based on an existing piece and I knew that it would work out. This time I made it in ecru thread since I had no idea if it would work. After a few final tweaks, adding some floating and split rings around the bottom edge of the design. I have started on one in black, but it is not ready for a closeup just yet.

I always seem to forget that there are differences in the ecru and black threads I use. My vintage size 10 ecru thread is a bit thicker than the same sized modern black. This means that the final piece in black will be noticeably smaller. I think that I will have to add an edging on the sides of the final black one to make the size work as well as give me a better edge to lace the piece. I'm having an internal debate about the price of these corseted anklets too. I am personally very cheap when it comes to shoes and to price these for the time would be more than I think I would pay for a pair of shoes. Of course they should make quite a statement and it's always hard to remember that I am not my customers.

I should have a pair of the new design done in a few days and then I'm just waiting for my ridiculous stiletto shoes to arrive so I can get proper pictures. Hopefully I will have also worked out a proper name for them as well. Suggested terms have been 'spatlet', which brings to mind a tiny spat, and 'spanklet', that frankly sounds a little dirtier than I'd like. I'd prefer something a little more corset related, I think. Ideas from you are of course very welcome. Then I still want to work out a design for a barefoot sandal design as well. Things have been fairly slow etsy wise, so I've had some much needed time to create new things as well as get most of the pieces I had listed as custom orders made up so they're ready to ship.

In other news, this Sunday, I got a google alert to an interesting feature of my Order of Ecclesia Victorian Lace Collar. It was based on a video game character and suggested for creation my husband. Apparently, the gamers have finally stumbled upon it. My husband was so proud that it was his idea, he kept reminding me that I should be thanking him for the idea. The feature was picked up by two other gamer sites, nothing huge, but still pretty cool to have some unsolicited attention.

Friday, February 20, 2009

While I Was Away

In case you were wondering, I got out of jury duty because I have an appointment next week to finish my root canal. Not my favorite way to get out of jury duty, but this was going to be a long trial so I'll take it. When I got back, I was so excited to see all the comments left regarding my tatted spat/anklet thing. I spent the evening looking through the myriad of shoe options you amazing folk left for me. Wow, you are great and I think I found the perfect pair for displaying the spats as well as a couple of others I now want for no good reason other than they're pretty.

I also got some fab ideas for future pairs. I think I'm gonna go ahead and make up the second one for this pair and then get to work on a longer pair that will go up the leg a bit more as well as down the foot more. Then next on the list will be essentially the shoe equivalent of my slave bracelet, because I like the idea of a barefoot sandal too. How soon you can expect to see these creations is anyones guess however. I seem to be always biting off more than I can chew.

Also a lovely surprise I discovered after jury duty was the spread of my tatting instructable. I had already had a lovely comment the other day from the needlework editor of craftgossip that she was posting the tutorial there, but I returned to find my google alerts had even more postings. It is also now featured on the blog and at The Point NYC website. And to think I thought I was going to have problems getting the word out on that one. I even had one of my twitter buddies give it a shot using an embroidery needle and she shared her first try. I have to say I'm impressed not only with the first attempt, but that my instructions were clear enough for a beginner to create the piece in just a few hours. I am also so glad that she shared and I hope that anyone who attempts this pendant, my scarf pattern or my mask will show me the results!

I will, in the future, offer more patterns and projects for you to digest, but I want to space them out a bit. I've already got an idea for some more beginner techniques to share that will take people beyond the flower pendant, but again I'm in no hurry to create my own huge library of learning. For those of you who want to learn more right now, I have a few sites to suggest. First Bella Online, I've picked up tons there, lots of links and patterns and whatnot. Then there's HandyHands Tatting where you can find some lessons and get supplies. Last, if you're looking for some personal help, try etatters ning network. It's beginner friendly with tatters from all levels. I know, another place to "join", but you can get some one on one help as well as browse a growing library of tatting pictures for inspiration. I think that's it for now. I'll see what I can make up this weekend to share with you on Monday.

Addition: Gina the Tatting Goddess also suggests this board for needle tatters as well. Thanks Gina

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's No Stiletto, But...

I started on this project before I started feeling bad, but now that I'm on the mend, I have a bit more energy. This one was inspired by a photo I saw at Haute Macabre featuring a pair of lace shoes. Now clearly I'm not making a pair of shoes anytime soon, but I thought maybe I could take an existing design and modify it to become a sort of spat or anklet.

I started with the pattern for my Portrait necklace and rewrote the ends to be much shorter. Then I added a small section on either side so that I could lace it up the back. Of course once I was finished, I realized that I don't have a single pair of plain black high heels. I've got boots aplenty and several pairs of casual shoes and one pair of ridiculous taupe bridesmaid shoes. Not one of them really gave me an idea as to whether this would work or not. Finally I settled for a pair of wedges, leaned all the way over and took a picture of my foot.

Now all I need is opinions, lots of opinions before I decide to make a second one to perhaps sell. Does it give the intended look? Would anybody actually wear it? Should it go further up the ankle like the one it's inspired by? Where on earth do I get shoes that make it look right without spending a fortune? This is probably the first project I've worked on that requires another article namely a shoe to work, though I guess it could look pretty interesting on a bare foot too. Well, until I get some feedback, this one is going on the back burner, but I thought I'd share before it gets buried in a pile of lace.

I'm off to jury duty this morning, so I don't know how available I'll be or what I'll get done the rest of the week. I won't be able to do any tatting since I'm certain that giant pointy needle will not get past the security that doesn't allow knitting needles. Oh well.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


So yesterday, I was certainly feeling better, but not well enough to tackle any real physical labor. As the throbbing in my cheek continued, I chose to take a pain pill to avoid pain and help with the swelling. Then in my drug addled wisdom I decided that now was the time to add to my instructables library with a beginners project. Wise, perhaps not, but it is done now. I decided that since the rights to my first Belle Armoire article are mine again, I would use the preexisting photos and edit the article to the Instructable format.

The how-to is basic needle tatting that you can use to create a simple flower pendant. You can visit the Instructable here. I have attempted to use their embed feature here, but it might be easier to use there. If you like the instructable, be sure to visit the site and rate it. I'd love some comments there too if you've got the time(I'm needy like that)! Oh, and feel free to let me know if I've made any horrible errors, as I was a bit out of it whilst typing.

Learn Needle Tatting With My Flower Pendant - More DIY How To Projects

Later in the afternoon one of their editors decided to feature the instructable as well, which means it is on their front page. It is also currently featured on the steamteam blog. I guess this means we should have a few more tatters in the world soon, right?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


As you might have guessed Monday afternoon marked my very first root canal. I had been assured by family and friends that they were no worse than having a tooth pulled. While this may well be true for the majority, it does not take into account the severe infection or abscess that I am currently rocking. This tiny detail made my experience a little more like torture. Now, don't get me wrong, my dentist is a wonderful guy, empathetic and just the fellow for the job, but the added pressure of my infection made me absolutely miserable. My face hurt so bad when he was done and to add a little cherry on top, he had to slice my gums open to allow them to properly drain.

So I imagine you will not be shocked to learn that I accomplished very little the rest of the day. Although just sitting on the couch does give me ample tatting time, the painkillers make me a little slow and loopy. I did discover a nice little mention over at one of the blogs I stalk, Haute Macabre. They were doing an etsy week and I managed a little spot on their etsy under $15 list. I've been visiting this place nearly daily since I discovered it. I am not a fashion person. I do not often "get" what is "in" especially with the resurgence of bad 80's clothes. I lived through it once, I do not want to go back. I don't collect purses and for the most part I don't care about brands. But, my inner goth loves the fashion picks these ladies unearth and if I was gonna splurge on crazy clothes these are the ones I do it on. So I feel honored to be on their radar at all.

Monday, February 16, 2009

And The Winner Is....

Well, before we get onto the good stuff, I thought a little health update was in order. On Saturday I took a romantic trip to the Urgent Care with my husband to get prescribed antibiotics and pain killers for an apparent dental abscess. It seems that all my mouth issues have culminated in the murder of one of my teeth and in it's death throes it has chosen to infect my face. This resulted in a swollen and terribly attractive cheek. As you might imagine this put a bit of a damper on, well everything. Yesterday, the whole thing began to drain and I feel a bit better. I'll be going to the dentist later today to see how bad it really is, but I imagine that I shall be looking forward to a root canal, so probably right back to pain, yeah fun.

Okay, now to the reason you're probably reading this, the winner of the Very Vicious Valentine giveaway. As you're probably aware, this was my first giveaway and I'm really amazed with the turnout I got. When all the entries were tallied out, there were a total of 61. It was really awesome that so many people opted for extra entries and played the game with us and I am pleased as punch that I was able to help Diana get a little extra exposure for her amazing art and I hope that many of you will pick up a little something from her in the future.

Alright, I guess that's enough American Idol stalling. I used the random number generator at to spit out a number and that number belongs to

Thanks so much to everyone for entering and if you're interested in doing a giveaway with me in the future, just let me know. I had a pretty good time with all this business, in fact I just might do one for my tatting in the future. You know, when my mouth isn't rebelling against me!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Last Day

Well, it's here, the last day of my very first giveaway. You have until midnight today to enter to win Diana's wonderful pieces. Just click on the link at the top of the page to see all the rules and enter. I will be posting the winners on Monday morning, because I take weekends off!

Win this set of one Death's Head Moth magnet and numbered 6/66 ACEO of 'Drawn' made by Diana Crites of PaynesGrey.

In other news, I've been a little out of it for the past week. I had an extreme build up of jaw/teeth pain and headaches that I'm really hoping isn't TMJ. I need to get in to see the dentist again hopefully today to see if it might just be a bad tooth, though last time he said the tooth was fine and it was my clenching that was causing all the problems. It was so bad the last couple of days that I didn't even do any tatting. I guess it's a good thing that business has been mellow. Anyway, hopefully I'll be feeling better next week, because I have jury duty and pain would just make that unbearable. Well, I'm off for the day, be sure to enter the giveaway if you haven't yet, everyone should own a little bit of Diana's art!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What Else Do You Want, Blood?

Well, I found something to be annoyed at this week. It's not really something new, but I did get a message this morning that got me thinking about it again, overexposure. You see, my online presence is directly related to my etsy experience. Before I discovered etsy as an outlet for my developing craft of tatting, I had no online presence. I used the Internet for games and music and as an endless source of information. I was a lurker that rarely if ever engaged others. That all changed when I first discovered the etsy forums and joined the plague of locusts on their seemingly never ending conquest of social sites.

I ran with the locusts to MySpace and Indiepublic, I applied and was rejected from Trunkt...twice. I started a blog, joined, never listed anything and left Lollishops and landed in the Twitterverse. I have all but abandoned both MySpace and Indiepublic, in fact the only things I maintain now are my Etsy shop, my blog and Twitter and you know what I'm done. I've left the cloud of locusts. I am now flying alone. As I've stated before, I'm just not that social, so stop asking me to join you on another Ning site or random networking site. I'm giving you all I've got already.

This also means that I have no intention of starting a facebook page, joining ArtFire or any of the half dozen other new selling venues. Sometimes I envy the youth of some of my crafting peers and their endless energy for social networking and maintaining multiple storefronts. I, however, have two small children and a craft that is a bit on the time consuming side. I wish that I could build up a lot of inventory to spread around, but unless I want to further neglect my real life, it isn't happening. My eggs shall remain comfortable in their little Etsy basket. There may come a day when I give in and get a facebook page, and who's to say that there won't be another place that I like even more than twitter one day in the future, but for now I'm spent.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Love Story

Yesterday I got a lovely idea for my personal reveal in my comments. But first a quick recap on what you've learned so far. First you discovered the meaning behind TotusMel, then I revealed what I wanted to be when I grew up and just last week I regaled you with the origin of my love affair with hair color. Today I shall reveal a love of another sort.

How Did You Meet Your Husband?

It was back in the fall of '95, my second year of college. I had green hair and had recently decided to take an entirely new tack in my love life. I usually hung out under a tree in front of the bookstore with a group of freaks, geeks and gamer nerds that were cleverly referred to as the tree people. I was not only comfortable there, but a bit of a queen bee as well. When a new fellow walked up to visit a friend of his that was visiting a tree person, I simply greeted him with "and your name is?" to which his friend responded, "Oh, that's Ubence. He's cool."

Over the next week, I continued to chat up this new guy hoping that this would not turn into yet another unrequited crush. On a Friday afternoon, in a bold and uncharacteristic move, I gave him my phone number. You see, I had never "dated" before, sure I had boyfriends, but no one had ever asked me out. When he called just a few hours later to ask me to coffee, I was quite taken back. Over the next couple of weeks we learned that we had far more in common than a few mutual acquaintances. We both played Nintendo, though his obsession was much greater, we both had pet rats, Apple computers before it was cool and liked our music industrial. I made him buy Magic cards, so we could play and he introduced me to Aphex Twin and KMFDM. Then one day we finished a sentence with the same off the wall word and I knew this was absolutely the one.

It was just a few months later that we moved in together with my best friend and another year or so before we were married. It was a small self financed affair at Lake Yosemite. I wore a silver dress my mother made for me from patterns we cobbled together. I even held off on my future arm tattoos and kept the hair normal for the family.

Our relationship hasn't been all sunshine and roses, but as we've often said, we may not be perfect, but we're perfect for each other. Our story isn't amazing or worthy of a movie script, but it began a relationship that has endured and created two wonderful children. A relationship from which I assure you there is no escape for either of us.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Alright, I Got Nothing

Seriously, I woke up this morning and searched my brain for anything to write about and I came up blank. No big events, pending projects or annoyances to rant about. There's still four days left on the Valentine giveaway and I shipped out the custom order that was vexing me so yesterday. So, yeah, I got nothing. I couldn't even seem to come up with a personal reveal to fill the space.

It's my own fault really. Nobody ever said that I had to write a blog post everyday, Monday through Friday. It was my own need for routine that landed me in this quandary. I know that it's about quality not quantity and some of my favorite bloggers post on a fairly erratic schedule, but no I must post.

Let's see if I've got anything to share...I finished up my custom order that included the red Victorious choker that I shared the other day. Much of the stress of the order was self inflicted as always. I really should have just sat back and clarified every detail before beginning, but I didn't. One of the results of that order was an additional piece without a home. An larger version of the Victorious choker in black. The biggest challenge of listing this plus sized piece was making sure that I worded the listing well and since I could not take a picture of myself wearing it I was left using pictures of the smaller version. It's a good thing I have all my twitter friends you were quick to offer advice on the subject keeping my embarrassment to a minimum.

I'm spending the day tatting up a mask or two, then perhaps I can get back to work on my tatted spat idea. Then of course there's the mini knitting combined with tatting idea to mull around and I've got to come up with a compelling personal reveal for the week. I think one thing is clear this morning. I have a hard time being brief even when I have nothing to say.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Itty Bitty Knitty

There are only two authors that I read unconditionally, Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman. If they wrote a phone book, I would read it. I also dutifully watch all derivative works especially if the author approves of the final product. So I really didn't pay much attention to the advertising campaign for the movie Coraline. I was already sold and though I had heard a lot about the video of the miniature knitter responsible for the sweaters and gloves in the movie, I had not seen it. last night, I was catching up on my blog reading and a friend had the video embedded so I thought, why not.

At first I was awestruck, not only by the method of knitting on what appeared to be sewing needles, but at the final products as well. Itty bitty art sweaters done in perfect 1/12 scale. Then toward the end of the piece, Althea Crone stated that as far as she was aware, she was the only person knitting conceptual art sweaters on such a small scale. I took that as a challenge. I decided immediately to pick up a pair of matching tatting needles and a ball of thread and began to knit, just to see if I could.

I learned a few things about miniature knitting last knit. First, although Althea is certainly the only person doing art sweaters, she is by no means the only knitter working on this scale. There are enough of them to not only warrant production of tiny knitting needles, but to enough to sell the tiny patterns. Most of these knitters seem make baby doll outfits and furnishings for doll houses, some incredibly complex. Secondly, if you're gonna try this out, make sure you not only have appropriate needles, but even more vital is a small steel crochet hook for dropped stitches. If you drop a stitch at this scale, it requires patience and a delicate touch to reverse the damage. Panic, and it's all over.

Lastly, I learned that Althea's can conceptual art sweater monopoly is safe from the likes of me. Oh sure I can do it, I am lucky to be a fairly skilled knitter and being a needle tatter means I am very comfortable working with small needles and thread. I managed to knit up this small white square in just about 15 minutes. I just don't think I have the patience to design and create pieces as complex as hers. Even if I did, what on earth would I use them for. I don't collect miniatures or dolls so I guess this was just an experiment.

What I am compelled to do with my new skill, is find a way to combine mini knitting with needle tatting. It looks like it would be easy enough to do, but I need to find the right design to make it worth the effort. So thanks Althea for the inspiration to try something new. If you still haven't seen the video of her knitting you can check it out on Choklit's blog here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Truely Outrageous

Last night it occurred to me that I hadn't yet posted a confessional this week. You already know about my childhood dreams of dancing and why I am know as TotusMel, so where to go next. I alternated between deep and complex or a trivia fact and I landed on my hair.

What Is Up With The Colored Hair Already?

When I was little, my heroes were fairly normal. I had an obsession with Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears and Rainbow Brite to name a few. As I got older, well, things started going in another direction. I loved She-Ra, fantasy and Jem. Yes, Jem and the Holograms, shockingly 80's and my introduction to the world of multicolored hair.

One day at the beauty salon with my Mother, who was getting her hair tipped in gold, as was the custom of the time, I told my Mom that when I was older I wanted to get pink streaks in my hair. She responded with statement that I have never forgotten, "When you're older, you can do whatever you want with your hair, but" she cautioned, "I guarantee that you won't want to anymore." Now, for most things a kids claims to want to do when they are older this statement was spot on, but not for me.

I first felt the sting of hair dye at 15.My Mom let me get my hair done in auburn at the salon and just a few days later I knew I was never going back to boring brown again. Throughout high school my hair gradually became a less subtle shade of burgundy. Then in college, all bets were off. I was 18 and no color was off limits. I tried almost all of them, including a stint with vertical rainbow stripes. Sure I went back to "normal" when I needed to get a real job, but not brown. I tried every "natural"color available safe for blond. Eventually my boss let me go back to my vibrant color choices and when his boss told me to stop, I bought a wig to wear at work, then several wigs.

I did go back to brown before I got pregnant with my first child and again for the pregnancy of my second, but after each was older, I went right back. Currently, I am rocking the purple and blue combo that I prefer.I've always said that I will stop when I start looking too old to get away with it. I'm sure there are plenty of people that think I've already reached that point, but it still feels like me. I never really did do pink streaks because I don't really like pink all that much, but it's was Jem and her pink hair that started it all for me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Waiting Is The Hardest Part

As you can imagine, I spent a large chunk of time pimping the giveaway yesterday. This is the first one I'm hosted and I really want it to create a great amount of traffic for Diana, so if you haven't checked it out yet, scroll down and get entered. It will just take you a minute, I swear.

Even though I was clearly distracted, I did managed to get stressed out about other things as well. I have a couple of potential special order customers swimming around the hook without taking that final bite. The timing is a bit odd, since it wasn't a week ago that I made a bold announcement about not working on things until you've been paid. What's a little different about both of these, is that that both came with deadlines, very quick deadlines. So here I am sitting on things that will take a bit of time to make. If I don't start on them and they go ahead and make their purchase, I may not finish in time. Of course on the flip side, if I do make up these items and they don't follow through, not only am I stuck with pieces that I didn't need to make, but I've lost the time I could have used to work on other things.

I do have a confession though, I went ahead and made one of the pieces requested in advance, partly because I had wanted to make this design in red anyway and I'm fairly certain it could sell independent of this customer.

All the clovers on the edges of this piece did work a number on my finger though. You see when I make a join between the rings of a clover, I slide the needle across my finger, through the picot and the snag the thread through with the needle by using my finger. I might not be explaining that well, but what it means is that I kept hitting the same spot on the side of my finger in between the ridges, slowly splitting it open. I've got some liquid bandage on there now, since real bandages snag the thread when I tat. Just a little sacrifice to the gods of the craft I suppose.

I hope I don't have to wait much longer on these orders, because I have so many other things I should get on including a couple of new ideas bobbing around in my brain.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Very Vicious Valentine Giveaway

Valentines Day, the day hopeless romantics adore and the loveless abhor. A day to celebrate love, to test the gift giving prowess of beaus, to sell countless and disposable cards, candy and flowers. A day to wallow in self pity or loudly profess that you neither need or desire love in your life. Love it or hate it, not one of us is allowed to completely ignore it's passage. This Valentines Day, why not focus on Friday the 13th instead and win yourself a little something both beautiful and a little macabre.Win this set of one Death's Head Moth magnet and numbered 6/66 ACEO of 'Drawn' made by Diana Crites of PaynesGrey.

I have had the fortune of meeting many wonderful artists in the last few years and few of them have been as lovely and talented as Diana. She has an eye for finding the beauty in the odd making her work surreal and memorable. I have discovered through her blog that we also have more than a couple of things in common and her words are as compelling to read as her art is to see.

Here's a bit of bio for you: Diana Crites is a fine artist with a special interest in the dreadful. She has shown in California and throughout the Portland area, including the inaugural exhibition at Pi-Rem Gallery in the Pearl and has been a featured artist at Intown Works III at the historic Old Church in downtown. Her paintings are held in private collections in throughout the United States, Paris, and British Columbia. She also keeps a blog at

Now The Rules:
-Visit, and peruse her amazing art.
-Pick your favorite item from her shop and then come back here to this blog post, and leave a comment telling us about what you liked.
-If you are not a blog user, make sure to leave your name and email so you may be contacted should you win.

Want more chances to on

-For an additional entry, tell us a love story or anti-love story as a comment, whichever is your bag.
-For an additional entry, tweet this giveaway, then leave a comment to let us know you've done so.
-Finally, for an additional two entries, blog about this giveaway on your own blog (complete with links and pictures), and come back and leave a comment telling us you've done so.

-This contest is open to residents of the US only.

-Contest ends on Friday, February 13th (I know, ironic huh?). Winner will be announced the following Monday.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Well it looks like nobody spied my mask last night. I knew it was a long shot anyway, so I guess it's no big deal. I haven't looked myself yet, but I will scan through the episode when the kids let me have the t.v. later just in case I see something. I did however have two other great features yesterday.

First, VickiDianeDesigns who is responsible for the Etsy Artists Exposed treasuries set her sites on the SteamTeam. The treasury featuring the actual faces of many team members went up yesterday morning and quickly shot to the top of the pile getting hundreds of views. I stole this image and the subsequent links from dbvictorias live journal post...because I'm lazy.

The treasury expires Wednesday, so for posterity, once the link is no longer live, the artists featured are, from left to right, top to bottom:

TotusMel, Tatted Jewelry and Accessories, Unique and Elegant; Tom Banwell, Leather; WinonaCookie, Custom illustration, collage, nifty items; dbvictoria Wire wrapped jewelry and other artful creations; Insectus, Industrial, Steampunk and Gothic Jewelry; CJGrand, The Grand Design;zkitten, Chaoticly Creative; Fantasies in Leather, A bit of leather, lace, love and laughter; IndustrialFairyTale, Jewelry, Books, Art, and Steampunk Odds and Ends; Choklit, Adornments for Tarts; ClockworkCrow, "Flights of Fancy", and more simple silver treasures. Tick-tock; VelvetMechanism, Steampunk Jewelry, Corsets and More!

I know, I cheated a little using an already existing image that effectively hides my face, but it's a good picture!

Also yesterday I had a great photo interview post on a the Tattered Rouge blog. Go check it out if you have a moment, it is also linked in the 'where I'm featured' list in the left column. This is also your last warning. Tomorrow I am posting a giveaway featuring one of my favorite artists, so you will want to pop by and get yourself entered to win a little something. My new tatting project has taken a backseat to a custom order, so it might be a while before I have something tangible to show you, but I will.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gossip Girl?

The weekend proved to be just as long as the week that preceded it. We spent all of Sunday at my in-laws watch commercials. Well that and to let the kids hang out and play with their cousins. Anyway, on Friday while I was watching my dvr'd episode of Supernatural I caught the preview for today's episode of Gossip Girl. First off, I don't watch the show at all but since I don't actually live under a rock, I know that it is critically acclaimed and people follow the fashion on the show. Secondly, about a month or so ago I sold a mask to who appears to be the property manager for the show. Lastly, the preview seemed to depict a masquerade of some sort.

When the mask was purchased from me, I was given no indication that it would be used in the show, I just guessed that it might. I have absolutely no reason to believe that the mask will be worn in the show and even if it is, it will be most likely worn by some random extra in the background. I know this must come off a little pessimistic, but I prefer to assume a more realistic outcome and be surprised by more rather that hope for too much only to be disappointed.

The point I suppose I'm trying to make here, is if you watch the show keep an eye out for this tatted mask, then let me know you if you saw it straight away. I plan on recording the episode and scanning through it tomorrow, but I'm guessing that many of you, particularly on the east coast will know way before I will. I actually spent my Superbowl time tatting up another of these masks just in case it gets air time and then I get to add the tag line 'As seen on Gossip Girl' to the listing. Okay I know I'm getting ahead of myself here.

I did also get some time to start on a new project based on a pair of shoes I saw on HauteMacabre. I don't have enough to show you yet, but it's coming along alright. Also, just a heads up that I might just be having a special giveaway from a friend on the blog soon, so keep an eye out for that as well.