Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Yes, it was hot again yesterday, but I was on a few small missions. I was cleaning and tatting and knitting and all sorts of little things. We're still waiting to hear back about the house we want to buy, coming up on two months soon. To say we're getting discouraged would be to ignore a dozen other emotions that are filling our household. Then to make matters more stressful, I attempted to enroll my daughter in a charter school so that I can home school this coming school year. I say attempted because the school is of course full. I've got one other I can try, but they did not have an online application, so for all I know they are full up too and my plans are out the window as they are the only two charters serving my area. I'm sure there are other options, but I think I may have waiting too long for many of them. You see, I was hoping to get everything done after we moved assuming that it would have occurred by now. I seriously miscalculated and now things are terribly uncertain. I know she doesn't *have* to attend kindergarten so I may unofficially school her this coming year and get everything set for first grade, but somehow it seems wrong.

Well, that's enough personal drama for today. I have been tatting a bit on the reward for my Wunderkammer collaborator. She chose something in the chocolate brown sock yarn I used to make my last scarf project. It's not pressed and finished yet, so I'll just give you a little taste here. I think I actually have enough yarn left to make a second piece to sell and since it's been a while since I listed something made in yarn, I think I might just do that. Sales in the store have begun to slow down dramatically. That's about par for the summer course though, so I won't start complaining yet. I am also about halfway through my knitted scarf/wrap. I've been working a bit on it everyday, but I've no idea when it will be completed. Of course I can't wear in for months anyway.

The Wunderkammer is doing great, along with the secret redesign, it just reached 100 blogger followers. This was a milestone I was waiting for because I had decided that once I got there, I would do the first giveaway there. The redesign has changed the plans a bit. I will now wait until that is complete and I will start asking featured artisans if any of them wants to participate in the giveaway. Of course I have no idea how best to do that without getting all spammy on people. I'd like to do it in a similar fashion to the one I did here with more prizes for more entries, but I don't want to be the only one donating to the cause. I think I've got a bit of time to get everything all set up so no stress.

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's Too Hot

Yet another long weekend is now behind me. This one featured my husbands birthday, which means we watched movies and video games, ate ridiculously large meals and I have consumed enough chocolate based desserts to create a whole new me. So to say I'm not well rested is a severe understatement. Yet, here we go into a new week full of...well, I've no idea really. I've got very few if any plans for the foreseeable future. I am currently making the reward for my graphic collaborator on the wunderkammer and I'm really excited by what she's already shared with me. So excited in fact that it's a bit of a struggled to not share it here, but I shall endure. I want it to have a great reveal when it is complete.

I am still knitting away as well. Switching between the two fiber arts has my hands a bit confused though and if I stop paying attention to what I'm doing things get a bit weird. I really should be remaking a score of pieces I have listed as custom orders, but I just can't seem to get motivated to do so. I have started one of the masks, but I'm pretty much ignoring it right now. I think the heat is just wiping the energy right out of me and it's only going to get worse.

I will be shipping pieces away to have their magazine photo shoot this week. If I am recalling correctly this is for an August issue, so hopefully I'll feel comfy sharing all the details soon. I've made one piece specifically for the shoot, but the others are existing ones. Though I did make some earrings to match them. I very rarely do earrings since there are so many other tatters that make them, but I figured this was a special occasion.

Speaking of other tatters, I discovered over the weekend that the pattern I've been passing out for my barefoot sandals has a rather glaring mistake...oops. Someone finally called me on it, well more accurately, asked me if it was their mistake. So, if you have the pattern, please note that the center medallion is wrong and should be: (4 rings of 5ds, p, 3ds, 9p sep by 3ds, p, 5ds close join each ring together by the 1st and 11th picot.) Sorry.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What A Week

Boy, the Internet is a strange place to live sometimes. Like so many others, I spent a big chunk of time glued to twitter yesterday whilst dramas real and imagined played out at the speed of sound. I did manage to get a few more pendant listings up, which means today I'll list just four more from the fair batch and then I'm all done. I've also spent a lot more time knitting than tatting the last few days. I guess I just can't seem to get back into my normal routine with all the extraneous events. Speaking of which, my husbands birthday is tomorrow, so if you know him, wish him a good one.

I know I'm rambling a bit today, I've got no cohesive thoughts to share, just an amalgamation of stuff, like this next story. Yesterday I asked the twitterverse why they were following me as I have had a bout of followers that I don't understand, they aren't friends of a friend or etsy sellers and I didn't get why or how they found me. This morning I saw a response from one of them, then they unfollowed me. I went to their twitter stream and I saw that they called someone so damn cocky at about the same time. Now, I have no ides if that was directed at me, but I got all defensive over it. I obsessed about it really for a good half hour. I wasn't even on the twitter when the response came in, so I couldn't react to it...yeah I know I shouldn't worry about it, but I live in the internet and I do like it when people like me.

What else...yes, I have found the perfect collaborator for the wunderkammers redesign and thanks so much to all of you who offered your kind help. I'm gonna keep it all on the down low until it's closer to fruition, but suffice it to say, it should look amazing. The project wonderful ad spot is also up and running and has made me a whole 3 cents so far. No, I didn't think it was going to make me rich, but it is amazing how well it just seems to run itself. I might even throw one up here one day. I do kind of like the idea of giving people really affordable advertising for their etsy or other micro businesses.

I do have another question to ask you all. I know some of you have used places like cafe press to sell merchandise. Do you have an opinion of any of the other similar companies, good or bad? I do still want to set something like that up for the wunderkammer and thought I'd cull your vast knowledge for information before I make a false step. Again, I'm not in any rush to get started on it, just doing a little groundwork first. I almost said legwork, but that seems ridiculous as I am clearly sitting down and don't plan on moving any time soon. So that's it for this week. Here's hoping no more icons die, Iran finds a little peace and the Transformers movie I'm seeing tomorrow doesn't suck.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wunderkammer Ramblings

I've been thinking a lot about my other blog, the Wunderkammer, lately. It's mostly a labor of love for me, I don't get much traffic to my store or here from it and yet I have an irresistible desire to have it succeed. I get plenty of heartfelt 'thank you's' from those I feature, but what I really want, is for it to become a coveted honor or daily destination for those it was intended to speak to. So, to that end I've been thinking of ways to improve its traffic, its appearance and, well...it.

Yesterday, I took a small first step and added another element to my picking and posting process. Each item I pick will now be stumbled, stylehived and wist...ed. I can do these things fairly quickly and hopefully they expand the exposure of the items featured. I am also stumbling the wunderkammer entry itself. If you are into that sort of thing, I'd appreciate the adds. So that move increases the exposure for the featured artisan, but now I need something for the Wunderkammer itself. I don't want to join a dozen blogger network sites, because...well, they're mostly annoying. I did apply for project wonderful the other day, though I've not heard back quite yet. If approved, I'll had some ad spots with them to the blog and use any profit to advertise the Wunderkammer elsewhere, though I've no idea if that will help either.

The next thing I want to do is redesign the Wunderkammer itself and for that I need help. I know I have artistic and graphically minded friends out there and if anyone wants to help, I'd be grateful. The idea is to create a more appealing background than the plain yellow, but it shouldn't be distracting. It's also like to create a better logo and banner design using the current font and faded paper look as a base. I want something nice enough to perhaps open a cafepress or similar storefront to sell Wunderkammer merch. I'll be hitting up a few people for help, but feel free to volunteer. Though in the spirit of full disclosure, I'm horribly picky, so don't be offended if I choose someone else for the task. I figured that a small line of stuff might compensate said artist and myself a bit for the time spent, though I've really no delusions of making blogging profitable.

Any help, opinions or random useful advice is gladly accepted, if not openly acknowledged. Now I really must get back to the tatting.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Done...For Now

Deep breath...they are all done. That's right, all the custom orders that had been bogging me down are now complete packed and ready to go off with the mail. This sweet relief gave me a small window to knit again. It was like turning off my brain. I don't do it much now, but there was a time when I was always knitting. My hands can take care of all but the most complex patterns without so much as nudging my brain. I got to the point in the scarf/wrap pattern where I start dropping stitches. It's one of those things that no matter how many time you've done it on purpose, it still feels like you're doing something a bit wrong, but as the pattern starts to slowly emerge, I'm getting excited to see the final piece.

I will stop with the knitting today in exchange for getting some of my pieces off the custom list and put on the ready to ship one. I certainly don't mind having a couple of things sitting there, but I think I've got over half a dozen right now and with the run that was all of them in a row, the prudent thing would be to get more of them ready to go. I did have one more custom request sitting around, a face veil, but I think I'm gonna pass on that one. I think that it might be possible, but I really not sure that tatting is the way to go with something that should have nice drape, you know? I'm going to leave it short today and get back to work now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Enviable Problems

I suppose some of my problems are enviable, I know there was a time when I would have blinked jealous eyes at one who complained about too many custom orders. Yesterday, I made a comment on twitter regarding the state of my custom orders. I have not been selling many ready to ship items as of late. I had just finished the last custom order in my queue when another was ordered. Honestly, I just wanted to take a little break from the high speed order making. It's alright though, I'll make custom orders from here to doomsday, if people are still ordering them.

The comment I received back was a harmless, "Oh, to have your problems" sort of thing. I get it, I wasn't offended or anything, but the whole situation got me thinking a little bit though. No, I didn't hurt myself. I was thinking about a time right before I abandoned the etsy forums. I had left my usual haunts for the critiques section as I had a brand new design idea I wanted to bounce off people. I was meant with, well, let's just say they weren't amenable to my request. In fact, I was derided for asking is general with off handed comments like, "you don't really need any help". When I related the incident to old friends who had already given up, they too pointed out that they were treated the same when asking for help. The general consensus seemed to be that, as relatively successful sellers, we could only be there lording our success over them, not genuinely in need of help.

Most 'old school' etsians are no longer forum participants. I only see a few here and there when I stop by to lurk. The squeaky wheels that hang out in the ideas and bugs forums, the mentors that throw around recycled advice over and over again in the business section and the socialites that, well, socialize in etc. round the clock. It seems as if forums are designed to keep out anyone with enviable problems. Sure, they are a place to commiserate, but it's as if they don't realize that we all struggled through those problems too and it was only time and hard work that got us to a place where we have other things to complain about. I absolutely would take my current problems over the ones I had three years ago, no sales, low views, crappy pictures, etc. I just wish I could whine just a bit without feeling like I was acting superior, oh well. Here's to always having these kinds of problems!

In other news, I did take a picture of my knitting. The image doesn't really capture the pretty of this yarn. There is a metallic filament in it that I don't think shows up here. but I needed to have prove now, not later in the sunlight. I don't know if you can see them, but there are twisted stitches running the length and in between them is where the stitches will eventually be dropped. That is what is going to make this look amazing, if I ever get back to it, that is. It is such a pretty combination of greens and purples which I don't think is properly depicted here either, but at least there is now evidence of my other skill set.

I have one more custom order to finish today and I got all the pictures of the unlisted items left over from the Maker Faire done yesterday, so I'll continue listing the feather combs and a crap load of pendants today and most of the week. Hopefully I can get back to the knitting sometime before it becomes cool enough to actually wear the scarf.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Had a bit of a weekend. Friday afternoon, I received a call from my mother who needed a ride to the hospital. Turns out she had appendicitis and I spent the rest of the day calling and re calling all my siblings to share information on her slow moving hospital visit. The trip did eventually include a surgery and I even got to spend three hours with her Saturday morning waiting not so patiently for the doctor to allow her discharge. No worries, she's basically fine, but as you can imagine that event and surrounding issues precluded me getting much done. Then of course Sunday was fathers day and even though I am not in any contact with my own father, we celebrated with my father-in-law and my husband.

I did manage to finish all but one of my custom orders, so I took a little time for myself and knitted. I had acquired some amazingly luxurious yarn at a shop in Seattle and I'm using it to make a scarf/wrap that was displayed there in the same yarn. The patten is from Knitty.com, a fairly simple drop stitch pattern knitted from the point on. I really meant to get a progress picture to show you that I do in fact do things other than tatting, but I didn't get to it, maybe later today. I also hope that I can get my feather clips photos taken and the piece listed this week.

I know that's not much sharing this morning, but I'm still tired from all the sitting around, waiting and watching that I was doing all weekend. Here's hoping that this week is a little more normal and I can get all this stuff taken care of.

Friday, June 19, 2009

One Of Those Mornings

Here we are at the end of the week and since all I've been doing is tatting custom orders on high speed, I've really got nothing of interest to share with you. This does not mean I won't attempt to ramble on for a bit however. I think you know this about me by now. We did get a little bit of pseudo news on our house buying situation. The sellers agent told our agent that he had talked to the bank and we *should* hear something next week and it looks positive. I truly hope that no one in that chain is talked our of their bums and that we will have a good answer soon, because this waiting game is messing with my sanity.

In a completely unrelated story, I was running some errands at the Target yesterday and made a swing through the clearance section as I'm wont to do at times. I was ever so delighted to find a tank that I had wanted but passed on the first time because I wasn't suppose to spend money. The price...$4.24. I know, why do you care? Eh, I'm just excited and I like it so much that I even needed to show off my ridiculously cheap tank. I am headless because there is no makeup on my face and my hair is still wet, but isn't it cute?

Well, I told you I had nothing to say.

I got another custom order yesterday, so my weekend of leisure will also be a weekend of high speed tatting to get these pieces turned out as quickly as possible. I need to build that paypal account up quickly to reverse the vacation damage and hopefully save enough for our annual Monterey trip. We like to go and stay a couple of days each year for our anniversary, but with the potential house buying process, we have no idea how it will play out this year. Crossing our finger though because it actually is a relaxing time for us.

Have I rambled long enough this morning? Yeah, doesn't matter, I'm done now...I think, yeah, I'm done.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Needle on Fire

I mentioned yesterday that my vacation hiatus had done nothing to slow sales(thus far), what I didn't mention is that all the recent orders have been custom pieces. I have been awash in thread, crystals and new lace for the last two days. I despise making people wait any longer than is necessary, so I work as fast as possible. I underpromise with the timeline, always leaving myself some wiggle room, then I do everything I can to shrink that timeline.

I finished up the second of two custom Portrait collars, one of which was done with two colors. I don't know how many times I've mentioned my dislike for two color work, but I can't stress enough how cumbersome the process is. Sure, I've refined it over the years. I know better how much thread I need to cut off and I work with the second color off the ball to reduce the tangle of thread surrounding me, but it requires slow and deliberate work to make it look as nice and cohesive as a one color piece. I won't go into the slight setbacks that also occurred with these pieces, because it all worked out in the end. I still have three other custom pieces I'm working on as well, so I'm a bt busy.

I've also been getting a lot of messages lately. Some folks sharing their tatting adventures with my instructables, some asking for patterns and some interesting custom requests including a face veil. I don't know if I'm taking on the veil project yet, I haven't even worked out possible patterns yet, as I've got enough to work on as it is. I also got a great picture of one of my masks in the wild. It's being worn by one of my lovely customers known as CircusFreak. I think she looks amazing in the Valentine Evenings mask so I had to share. I wish more customers would send photos my way and one day I'll have one of those neat websites with a customer gallery or something. You know, one day, when I have free time.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Well things are starting to settle a bit now, though I still haven't had enough sleep, nor cleaned everything that needs to be cleaned. I have gotten back to my needles though. On the trip I made a great burgundy version of my Portrait necklace for the magazine feature I mentioned, but that was all I tatted. Yesterday I made another portrait necklace, this time in green as a custom order and I started on a second one, also a custom order in black and green. I'm sure that I have mentioned that I dislike working with two colors. It is just so cumbersome to have that extra long cut thread dangling around, tempting the cats every time I pull the thread through. Hopefully, I can get this one done today, because there is more to do.

I assumed that business in the etsy store would disappear for a bit after my return as a natural result of being unavailable for a week. I was wrong. No, I'm not complaining, I just didn't anticipate having to get right to the task of remaking sold pieces. I haven't even contemplated any new designs as of late. I even purchased some new yarns to try out, but I don't know when I'll get around to them either.

Let's see...oh, yes I am still sticking to the corset training. I had hoped to get a new smaller corset when I returned this week, but we spent a bit more on our trip than we meant to. It's crazy how much you can spend on gas and food for a week, not to mention the really expensive souvenir trip to Nintendo headquarters. This just means I'll be spending a few more weeks in the one I have, that is getting more and more comfortable. I can even slouch a bit in it now.

Last bit of news today is more non-news. We still haven't gotten any news from the second loan holder on the house we're trying to buy. If you're keeping track, it has been over a month since the process started. I know that if we get the house all the waiting will have been worth it, but I fear it falling apart and all that time will have been wasted. Well that's enough dwelling on that. I hope to get pictures uploaded by the weekend so I can share some of my vacation with you, but I'm not promising anything. Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


...from my living room this time. We rolled into town around six and I began the drawn out process of unpacking, doing laundry and accounting for money spent and crap bought. This task shall continue today and I get to add a couple of special order necklaces and a few new listings to the list. So where are all the pictures today? Well, we used many cameras amongst our group and literally hundreds of pictures still need to uploaded and shared. When I get them sorted, I promise there will be some shared here and on flickr, but that's just not the highest of priorities.

Yes, we had a good time, but it was far from relaxing. We saw many sites, met many people and spent a ridiculous amount of time on the road. There is one high I would like to share this morning. On our way back from Washington we made a small detour to meet the lovely and talented Diana Crites of Paynesgrey on the etsy and her amazing family. They provided us with a much needed break from the road, a tasty lunch and best of all their company.

I have been so pleasantly surprised meeting my online friends in the real world. They have been added to the list of people we wish lived closer so that we could spend more time with them. I've got many more stories to tell, but honestly I'm still tired, so I think that's all for now. More on the 'morrow.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

And Back The Other Way

This is my last hello until I return home as I am leaving hotel Internet behind for the open road. Yesterday's adventure was The Museum of Flight at the Boeing complex. I've been around a lot of old planes over the years and this was definitely a gorgeous collection. The kids had a blast playing with displays and anything with a button.

We're making one special stop today that I'm really excited about and that in the home of the lovely and talented Diana Crites, also known as Paynesgrey. This is the second time in as many weeks that I have gotten the opportunity to meet people found through etsy that I thought I would never see in person. Since we're heading through their neck of the woods and since husband has also become Internet acquainted with the family, we can't miss the opportunity to stop by.

We should be back home to our cats that will probably be annoyed that we left them in the care of my brother, by Monday evening. This puts us back to the real world on Tuesday, but don't expect me to be operating at full power yet. I shall definitely need a vacation to recover from this vacation.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hello Again

Waking up early in the hotel has given me a chance once again to stop in and say hello. We had another exhausting day full of wandering. Like many things this trip, the day started with a disappointment. Dropped at the Pike's Place market at 8 am, we soon discovered that we were there far too early and our fallback plan of spending most of our time at the Aquarium a few blocks down was squashed as we walked up to the building and discovered that it was closed for one day. Great. We did manage to keep ourselves and more importantly the children occupied until we were picked back up after 3.

As you can imagine it was a long day. My mother-in-law did discover a small yarn shop not far from where we were and we left the men folk and a sleeping toddler in the park and spent some time there. I believe it was called So Much Yarn up above a Cost Plus. I got a few thin yarns that I want to try tatting when we get home and some for a shawl to knit up. The evening was a buffet dinner for the in-laws reunion we're attending and a raffle followed. The kids all got something, well so did the grown ups. Then it was back to bed late again. Today we're off to Boeing and here's hoping it will be a lazy day. One picture of the girls at the Waterfront to tide you over!

Friday, June 12, 2009


...from Washington. Just thought I'd take a moment to pop in and say hello while the children still slumber this morning. We are all well and enjoying something a little different here up north. The weather has been nice so far and we've already been to the Space Needle and the random attraction surrounding it as well as the Tacoma mall. We'll be off to the Seattle waterfront today to puzzle over more strange Washington customs... like the 'form 2 lines left' sign that made us scratch our heads yesterday. Does it mean merge left, 'cause, dude if it does, just say merge. Oh, and which bloody tree is throwing the white puffs at us everywhere we drive and don't get me started on the strange not self-service gas in Oregon. Anyway, here's some pictorial evidence of our adventure and I'll be back later.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

See Ya

One last goodbye before I fly away up the coast to the rainy north. The bags are packed the house sitter scheduled and the long drive begins soon.If you see my smiling...or more likely exhausted face around the Seattle/Tacoma area, do say hi. I believe that's all until I return in about a weeks time. Bye all, I'll miss you!

Monday, June 8, 2009

What A Beautiful Morning

Sunday mornings are by far the laziest days for me. I generally wake with very little email to read, no new orders to pack, nothing of consequence happens on a Sunday morning. Yesterday was a rare exception to this rule. I had ads to swap, an order to pack and most interesting of all an email from the style editor of an alternative fashion magazine requesting a feature of my work. Wow, right? Now, I'm not going to go into too many details as I fear the gods of the jinx, but there was an actual conversation with more than one back and forth which leads me to believe that this one is indeed happening. As the ground beneath me appears more solid, I'll let you know all the details, but for now, I'll keep it this vague.

The odd timing of Sunday morning is just the latest in a trend of bad and oddly timed event occurring around here. Large special orders, cat health issues, pattern requests and a few other odds and ends surfacing right before our first out of state vacation in years. I don't know what's been causing all this things to build up at the same time, but I'll be glad when we're back and all this has calmed down. It may not happen though. We are still waiting a month later to hear back about the house we put an offer in on, so theoretically that drama might crop up any moment. At least life isn't boring.

In case you've not been paying attention, I'm off tomorrow to Seattle/Tacoma tomorrow morning. I might get a post out before we leave, but it's likely to be quiet around here until next Monday or Tuesday, but don't forget about me. I've got a bunch of tatted hair accessories to list when I return and hopefully I'll have some stories to share as well.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

That's That Then

I have a confession. I've been holding onto a bit of a lie for quite sometime and now that it's been rectified, I feel the need to share. I know, I'm building this up a bit too much, really it's not a big deal. When I first started selling on etsy, I was simply ignorant. After a while I just started ignoring the details sticking to my, 'it's a hobby' excuse, but things have been snowballing for a while now and it needed to be taken care of. That's right, I am now legit. Business license is in hand and complete terror over future tax implications has set in.

It all came to the front as I prepared for the Maker Faire. I felt that if I was going to go out in public for the first time and vend, I needed to be above board. I had been reading threads on etsy for gosh...years about other people and their levels of similar denial. It seemed like such an official step meant for "real" business, not little old me and my tatting needles, but a letter from the city finally pushed me over to the planning department. I had meant to wait until we had purchased and moved into a home, but since we are still waiting to hear back from bank number two that didn't happen. Now, don't think I was flying entirely under the radar. I paid taxes on every cent I made, I just claimed it as hobby income. I do have a healthy fear if the IRS after all.

So that was my day, waiting in lines and coming out an official small business owner...weird, uncomfortable and slightly terrified, but official. I really can't believe how long I stalled on taking this step, but I never wanted to own a business, I just wanted to tat my lace and not get a job outside the home. I do have several more pieces to get listed in the store that had been made for the Maker Faire. I'll get some more up today and then save a batch for after I return home. I'll definitely be writing on Monday, but then the blog will go quiet. I may try to write from the road, but I imagine it'll be spotty. My other blog, the Wunderkammer, will go quiet for the entire week unless someone want to keep it going for me during my absence. Though I confess I really have no idea how that would work. Alright, that's it then.

Finally Recovered

Yesterday I began the long drawn out process of listing the pieces on etsy that I had made just for the fair which did not sell. I made a large amount of pendants and bracelets in a multitude of colors and most of what I did sell were in my, well standard colors anyway. Lots of black, brown, burgundy and a dash of purple. The point being, check out the shop throughout the week for more colors to arrive in many pieces. I have no plan to finish this task before leaving next week for my trip to Washington state though.

The family is attending a military reunion for my in-laws. We're basically using the event as an excuse for a bit of a family reunion for their family. I have traveled very little in my life, so this is my first time up north. We'll be stopping in Oregon for the night on the way up and back and I am honestly dreading not only packing for a family of four, but also keeping the younguns entertained on our longest car ride ever. I figure that when we return I will continue the listing process and perhaps that will bring attention back to the store front.

I also wanted to talk about another thing I learned at the Maker Faire. The first day myself and Choklit camped out in the back corner of the teams booths, figuring on comfort and control. What we did not fully anticipate was the sheer volume of the crowd and only the bravest amongst them were heading our way. Sales weren't awful, but a quick look at Tom's booth, fine maker of masks, revealed a whole other picture. So on day two, we appropriated the spot Tom held since he was not attending day two and things did change a bit. Now our wares which I imagine appeal well beyond the SteamPunk fan base were front and center. This was the day that I talked to the most people, made twice as many sales and sent a vast array of folks to my Instructable library for learning.

The moral of the story is, no matter how comfortable you want to be, there is no substitute for sheer exposure. Sure, we were colder, had less down time and fended off even more looky loos, but the advantages were clear. I still don't have any plans to become a fair vendor, but should I venture out again, I have learned that lesson at least. I had hoped that one piece or another would have also stood out for future reference, but that was certainly not the case. The masks caught peoples eyes, the butterflies sold like wildfire, but aside from that the sales were quite mixed. A few chokers here, a mask there, a few different bracelets and a random selection of pendants. I was told that just means I have a well rounded selection and since I liked that answer, I'm accepting it.

There are a few other dramas swirling around in my world right now, but I think that I'll save something to babble on about tomorrow. Until then.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More Maker Faire & Corset Talk

Turns out that while I chose yesterday to gush about teaching people to needle tat with the help of Instructables, they were in turn posting some stories about who they met at the Maker Faire which included me. There is a lovely photo and some very nice words. Go, check it out and leave comments so I appear much more popular than I actually am: Maker Faire.

I spent a good part of yesterday still recovering from the weekend. I know, I know, I should be over it, but I'm such an old biddy already that three days of late bedtimes and standing on my feet in heels for 10 hours did me in. I was also on a mad corset search. The one I am currently using has gotten...a bit too comfortable. Sure it's still tight and it restricts my movements, but I've found that I can now slouch in it a bit which means its getting loose. So yay for progress, but now I need another smaller one to continue on my path to recovered waist and stomach.

I really love the work at Dark Garden Corsetry and I even met the proprietress at the Faire, but fine quality aside, I cannot justify spending over $500 on a garment meant to trim my waistline and not dazzle the public. I was going to go with another off the rack one, but I think that these next few inches will be a bit harder to work on, so I really should go for custom. I did find one shop with custom prices under $200, Mechantes and they take a ridiculous number of measurements so I have faith in their process at least. So there's my current waist training corset adventure.

I had wanted to tell more Maker Faire stories today, but it appears that I have already rambled on quite extensively so I shall save them for later. I finished up the mask I was working on yesterday, so now it's onto remaking the pieces that sold at the fair. To be honest a lot of what sold was never listed in the store anyhow, so it didn't deplete stock like I feared. I do want to get a few done before I up and close the store again on the 9th for my trip to the Seattle/Tacoma area. I've never closed up shop for a whole week so I'm a little afraid of losing the attention I so obviously feed on while I'm gone, but there's nothing to be done about it. I shall close up for a week and hope that my silence does not cause a vacuum that someone else fills up.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Instructables At The Maker Faire

Well, I'm a bit more rested today, but absolutely not recovered. There are still at least a dozen things that I need to do in the next week before I leave again for a whole week this time. I think that I might be getting a bit ahead of myself though...I shall endeavor to calm down a bit. I have so many stories that I could tell from the Maker Faire. The people that were met, the sites that were seen even from our tiny corner not to mention the things that were learned about physically selling my pieces, but I don't want to bore you with a week of anecdotes. I might still do so though, so be warned.

The first thing I wanted to share was a bit unexpected though in hindsight I should have known it would happen. I haven't vended at a lot of events, but I've been to my fair share. Thing I don't like a bout the craft fair environment are customers who treat it like a flea market, fairs that allow flea market type vendors to sell as well as the whole why pay that much when I could make it myself, when they most surely could not. This was not one of those fairs. This was the Maker Faire, almost everyone who walked through the gates makes something or has a real respect for those who do. There was no price haggling, and when someone wondered if they could do that themselves, it was out of genuine desire to learn something new, not to avoid paying our prices.

This turned out to be the perfect environment to advertise not my wares so much as my lessons on Instructables. I received visits from at least three members of the Instructables team throughout the day, first from Christy, the community and marketing manager that left cards for me to give folks directing them to my lessons. I even met the CEO Eric later in the day and he thanked me for sharing. There's nothing quite as surreal as meeting people who recognize you from the Internet especially when they are the geek elite. I spent much of the day directing people to the site, ensuring them that they can and should learn to tat as they often said they always meant to. I sent older ladies, young girls, the crafting hipsters and even a few man folk in the right direction. I demonstrated the technique and explained how easy it was to learn and my ridiculous goal of making tatting the next big crafting craze moved just one step closer to fruition. I should have expected that level of desire to learn from this crowd, but I was awed by it.

That was just one of the amazing things I took away from the fair and there of course are more pieces to the weekend. I hope to hear from many of those I talked to and I hope hey all give tatting a go. Sure that's more competition for my wares, but I still think it would be incredible to be even a little responsible for the emergence of this art into the mainstream, so yay for the Maker Faire.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I'm Baaack!

I'm here and not remotely prepared to face the day of laundry and inventory that awaits me. I'm certain to give a more thorough analysis of the weekends Maker Faire experience but here's the quick rundown. I wish I could say that I saw many wonderful sites and explored the maze of creativity that abounded and the fair, but truth is I arrived at 8 each morning, trudged back to the Carnival Mechanique and laid anchor. The crowd volume was intense and there was little time for anything other than minding our tables and talking to the hundreds, perhaps thousands of people that swarmed by us. I literally did not use the bathroom the entire time I was at the fair.

The wind was awful both days requiring us to continually rescue our own displays as well as our teammates. This also made it almost unbearable cold in the shade, so awesome outfits were hidden by wraps and jackets. We also had the added bonus of a steam powered locomotive directly behind us that sounded its horn at intervals throughout each day causing us to stop and plug our ears mid conversation. The sport of choice was browsing with a side of extreme business card grazing, but I think all the members of our group as well as the folk that sent in items to sell, sold something at least. Though I have yet to do my inventory, I think I did fairly well overall. I feel that at least the trip did not end up costing me any money.

The absolute best parts of the faire for me were the people. I heard and uttered the phrase, 'I know you from the Internet' countless numbers of times. I finally met all me new best friends form the steamteam and found my blind date fear of rejection was ill founded and they were fabulous and my daughter bonded unexpectedly with the other Pamela aka ClockworkCrow. I met several folks from instructables and got my special button for my presence on their site. I also spent many hours explaining tatting as well as Steampunk and I think we brought many people into both camps.

I have much more to share, but for now, here's a few pictures...sorry to say they were not many taken...except by complete strangers.