Monday, November 30, 2009

Want A Free Tatting Pattern

You'd think after a five day weekend, I'd be ready to just get back to it, but you'd be wrong. I stalled on several projects meaning this morning has already been a whirlwind of tasks and it's not even 6 am yet. Rather than dwell on it however, let's just get to it. To summarize everything, the etsy store now has free worldwide shipping throughout the holidays. If you've a custom order or just a gift that needs purchasing, you might want to do sooner rather than later. I did not place in the Instructables Halloween contest this year and while I'm slightly bummed, the competition was amazing, so no worries there and today I have an early holiday present for you.

The Queens Feet- Barefoot Sandals

Size 10 crochet cotton, size 5 needle, size US7 crochet hook

4 rings of 5ds, p, 3ds, 9p sep by 3ds, p, 5ds close join each ring together by the 1st and 11th picot.

1st Round:
R 3ds p 3ds p 3ds join to the 3rd free picot before the join of the center ring, 8ds cl do not reverse, *R 8ds join to 3rd free picot of
next center ring, 3ds p 3 ds p 3ds cl rw
Ch 6ds p 3ds p 3ds cl rw
R 3ds p 3ds join to 2nd p of last ring, 3ds join to next p of center ring, 3ds p 3ds p 3ds cl rw
Ch 3ds 6 p sep by 3 ds, 3 ds cl rw
R 3ds p 3ds p 3ds, skip next picot and join to the next picot of the center ring, 3ds p 3ds p 3ds cl rw
Ch 3ds p 3ds p 6ds cl rw
R 3ds p 3ds, skip one picot of last ring, join to next picot, 3ds join to next picot of center ring, 8ds cl do not reverse
Repeat from * around.

Corners, make 2 (see photo for joins to motif):
R 6ds join to motif, 3 ds 4 picots sep by 3ds, 3ds cl do not reverse
R 3ds join to last p of previous ring, 3ds 7 p sep by 3ds, 3ds cl do not reverse
R 3ds join to last p of previous ring, 3ds 3 p sep by 3ds, 3 ds join to p of motif, 6ds close, tie and cut

R 3ds 8 picots sep by 3ds, 3ds close joining to the corner ring at the center 2 picots, tie, do not cut
Begin crochet chain of approx. 125 - 150 stitches at the close of the ring. Make chain shorter or longer for size or look. At the end of chain make R 3ds 8 p sep by 3ds, 3ds close, tie and cut

Toe Loop:
Make Same as Corner but join the first ring to the 3rd picot of the 6-chain and the third ring to the 5th. Note: this is intentionally uneven.
Ring 3ds, 6 p sep by 3ds, 3ds close, joining to previous ring by center two picots, close rw
Josephine Ring of 140 stitches or as many as needed to make large enough loop, tie and cut

I've been emailing this to anyone who asked for so long, intending to eventually do up an Instructable, but I've not had the chance to take pictures for that. I will get around to it, I'm sure, but until then feel free to make as many of these as you like for personal use and gifts only please, though I could care less if you sell them locally, just not online if you'd be so kind, thanks.

If you have any questions or if I've made any mistakes, please do not hesitate to let me know. I've no illusions of pattern writing perfection. In fact I'm right awful at it which is why I do so few of them.

F.A.Q Update: To make the join for the center motif, first I make the last ring up to the final join, then I pull those stitches off the needle being careful to not pull the thread all the way through. Then I use a crochet hook to make the join and work the last stitches. Pull those stitches through, finish and close the ring.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Coma

I am slightly less than lucid this morning. There was of course much cleaning, cooking and chaos. The house filled with 18 people and 3 small dogs and shockingly returned to n almost normal state in very little time. The turkey roast far to quickly thanks to out lack of knowledge regarding my new houses convection oven. Though the warming featured allowed us the time to create the rest of the meal before any damage was done. However, I actually had to prepare food and that was not our standing arrangement. I provide house, tables, dishes and workspace...I do not cook, I babysit and baste, but that is the extent of my skill level. Perhaps one day I shall take on these responsibilities from the "real" adults, but not yet man, not yet.

I did manage a little tatting between basting. I got a custom order the other day for one of my slave bracelet designs. I always state that they can be adjusted to other sizes upon request, but I always forget how challenging that can be. Let's face it, a design is created in a certain size. If the adjustment is exactly two motifs large, everything goes swimmingly. If the adjustment is very slight, I usually add a splint ring section to the edge that doesn't disturb the existing design. It's when the adjustment length is in between these sizes, that my brain cells are taxed. It took me seemingly forever to create an appropriate half motif for either side of the bracelet to keep in the design and the function. The saddest part, I will forget what I did next time and have to do this all over again. I know, I could just take a picture of the piece, but yeah...that would make it easy.

If you're looking for my black Friday/Cyber Monday deal...I'm afraid you won't really find one. I have given the entire store free worldwide shipping through the holiday shopping season and that's it for me. I may still put up the occasional one day facebook sale, but honestly it gets tiring maintaining those as well. I'd rather put my efforts into creating pieces as quickly as possible. Once the holidays have past, I'm looking forward to more designing and creating more tutorials for Instructables and maybe I'll actually submit something to the new Stampington publication on string. I really wanted to do that for their first issue, but I just don't seem to have the patience to do the step out photos and get all the instructions together for anything. It's just such a hassle to photograph everything one step at a time, when I've so many other things and people demanding my attention, but I digress. This babble fest is over for the week. I'll be back Monday, hopefully fresh and revived.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And Here We Go Again

Oh my dear friends and anonymous readers, I have been informed that I am in point of fact, mentally unstable...yes, it's true. I can be...wait for it, defensive when attacked, self conscious and even occasionally proud of my hard earned skills. I have also been informed that many of the people I have been fortunate to call friends are actually a childish mob who defend me even when they are not actually emailed to do so.

Apparently after I finished venting and letting the issues of the weekend go, someone else chose to pick a fight. Perhaps they have far too much time on theirs hands, perhaps they haven't found the right video game on which to unleash their aggression. I really couldn't say. In fact, they could be a perfectly reasonable human being in real life. Who's to say If you have no idea why I'm being so odd this morning, please feel free to read the comments of Mondays post, but don't bother feeding the troll. I have sadly had to enable comment moderation to avoid having a public argument with someone I don't even know.

I don't even really know what else to say about the whole thing. It just seems ridiculous at this point. What kind of person goes to a new blog and then almost immediately attacks the writer? It just seems like a waste of time. Look around, you don't like it, you leave and never bother again, right? Oh, look at me I'm being all mentally unstable again. My initial problem has been handle in the way I chose to handle it. I'd like to again say thank you to all the members of my "childish" or "kiddie" mob. You make me feel all safe and warm...kind of like friends. For all of you bothered or made uncomfortable by all this business, I truly apologize. I didn't like to engage in playground battles as a child and it's a shame I was dragged into one here where all I really like to do is create, share and occasionally vent to a sympathetic ear.

I'm going to go back to tatting now and spending the day with my family and living a contented and fulfilled life.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One Up

As you might imagine, I was in a mood yesterday. Of course, this did not stop the world from turning and my days seem to be getting busier by the hour. I wish I could think that things will settle down after this weekend, but I know better. I imagine that I won't get a good breath until after all the holidays have come and gone. Please don't take that as a complaint however. I am absolutely grateful for each and every sale I'm getting that keeps my needles perpetually threaded.

To add to my already down note of a day, I'm still waiting on several orders of random stuff I need. Seriously, at this point I have so many different things on order, I've almost lost track of it all, but I know that I need it now. I wish I had a random picture to perk up the blog post today, but I've got nothing. I would like to throw out a thank you for all the support I was given yesterday everywhere. I've been working at remaking things as soon as they sell so that I can immediately relist them. I'm just now finishing up a pair of slave bracelets that I sold yesterday.

Wait, I have something nice I can share. A few months back there a call for donations to contributor gift bags for the online magazine VivaLaModa. I offered up some pendants and was promised reviews int he magazine. The issue is out now and if you flip to page 69 you'll find the gift reviews. Each one contains one of my pendants and thus is reviews on every one of those review pages. I've no idea if this will help out as far as advertising, but it seemed an inexpensive way to get a little bit of exposure, plus I was in one of those strange, overly generous moods. I can't really post a picture as it is a magazine format, but it's free and an enjoyable magazine, so you can go have a look see if you're so inclined.

On that higher note, I shall stop writing now.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What The?

Oh, full of drama both good and confusing. My household was abuzz with preparations for the coming holiday week. All cleaning and the children uncleaning. We had dental appointments and shopping for table wares. We had playtime with the cousins and delivery of the dining set we'd waiting over two months to receive. I finished knitting up a gift and tatting all weekend long. We bought one set of dishes and acquired another which all needed washing as well. It was mostly ups, but there was one very odd down.

I awoke rather early on Saturday and did a random google search for ankle corsets. I often do this sort of thing to see if anything has been featured anywhere, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a pair of my corsets for sale elsewhere. I was shocked and annoyed that I had not been informed that a pair I had sold would be for sale. I had been asked about wholesaling to the site, which I have never really done anywhere. Why let someone pay you less for something & then charge the customer the same amount, particularly when it is online as well. Not to mention that I can't make enough stock for that sort of deal. I suppose it would have been fine had I known, but the other weird detail was the renaming of the piece to something I find silly. The full and initial rant is located on my facebook fan page. I have calmed and I think that it might just fade into the sunset, but yeah, that was my weekend, 'what the...?' moment.

This week should be full of more tatting, the start of the free shipping season and hopefully the arrival of my belly dancing piece supplies, so I can get that made in time. There of course will be eating and whatnot and my posting here and at the wunderkammer mat be interrupted, but I don't know how busy I will actually be yet. Just don't be shocked if I seem to disappear for a bit, like I'm going to do right now.

Friday, November 20, 2009


See now, I fully intended to start on all that tatting link business yesterday, but I completely spaced on it. I knew it was wise to say that it would happen in the coming weeks. There is just so many little things piling up around me. Yesterday we had the dental appointments, followed by impromptu shopping for dishes. Of course we got home and found a broken plate, so back those go, but at least we know which ones we like. Then there was the Michaels trip where we got to see the line outside the movie theater for the twilight movie...I laughed so hard and...well, loud. I felt mean for a minute, but man, funny.

Off the comedy for a moment though and back to the Michaels trip. I saw on the front page of etsy last week a silver bracelet made from crocheted lace. It was stunning and ridiculously expensive. I had always thought about making my tatting into metal or clay or something more, well, solid, but it seemed prohibitively difficult. I've no metal working knowledge, but from what I've read, lost wax casting something as delicate as lace is nigh on impossible. I inquired with the seller as to her methods and though she held on to her trade secrets, and I don't blame her, she got me thinking hard about a way to make this happen again. So after Internet searching, I think I've acquired a method to try. I won't give away much just in case I've stumbled upon my own trade secret, but I have supplies and in the coming weeks (see what I did there) I plan on giving it a go. The chance of failure is of course high, but it's certainly worth an attempt.

That of course isn't happening today as I have tatting and cleaning for a dining room table arriving tomorrow. The facebook sale that I put up today will last through the weekend so I can not have to deal with it then as I'm sure there will be much to do for the impending holiday. Sometimes I wonder why we offer to host these crazy event. Oh, that's right, so we don't have to go anywhere and of course we have the 'big' house.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One Week

One week...just one week left until the turkey drops. In between frantic creations, this is all I can think about. One week to clean the house, though I can't really start until a couple of days before as my children are expert destroyers and it would be more work to keep clean for the extra days. One week to prep for the "Black Friday/Cyber Monday" onslaught. Though in all honestly I don't really plan on doing much of anything except free shipping. I'll leave deep discounting to those of greater means and hope that customers will look past that to the high quality handmade gift. See, now I'm mental obsessing again. I've got a week.

Yesterday was a wonderful mail day, though I still don't have the supplies that I really need, I got several other things that perked the day right up. Most important of those was the black bamboo/cotton yarn I needed to complete my new Art Deco 2 scarf. The 2 is because I did have to change the edging to accommodate the size of the yarn. I think it still has the same basic look though. My photographing assistant was napping, so the pictures are all my fault this time. The scarf already has a home. In truth, I think it always did. I may relist this one as a custom order as well, but I though I had ordered a second skein of the yarn and I had only ordered again I must order more yarn to have on hand before I relist this one.

I just received a mask order, so that will be on the agenda today. I did try out a new pattern yesterday out of a 1972 tatting book. I did not like how that one turned out, but I hadn't seen the book in a while with the move and all and now I think I shall try to get something else out of it. I also signed up for a Christmas exchange on the tatting forum that I need to get something put together for. I think I might actually have something perfect lying in my expired listing pile, though I still might make something a little more Christmasy...we'll see. Of course I won't be able to share that until after the pieces have been received by my mystery partner. I would hate to spoil the surprise just in case they read the blog.

Speaking of tatters though, I have noticed that I get an inordinate amount of traffic here from people looking for all sorts of needle tatting help. While, I do have a lot of information here, it is scattered around. So in the coming weeks, I plan on creating some helpful tatting links in the sidebar both within my blog and externally to help them find their way. I haven't collected a lot of tatting blog addresses as I usually visit via other blogs, so if you got any great lists, go ahead and share. Thanks and see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Carry On

The seas calm calmed a bit as I have chosen to focus less on the back steps and just keep swimming. I've been hard at work getting stock up and will continue to do so. When things that have been on order do finally arrive, I will just move in that direction. It is of course maddening to have so many projects waiting on the mailman. Not to mention the sudden realization that Thanksgiving is next week and there is much house cleaning that must occur before that holiday arrives and my house fills with relatives to the ceiling.

Honestly that is about it for me lately. I've got the homeschooling thing pretty much down, though we a having a rough patch with the whole phonics things. We're having a run of doctor appointments lately that are ever so much fun...though I thank my lucky starts that these are just eye and dentist visits and not ones associated with illness...knock on wood. It is of course getting colder and we're discovering new things about the new house in winter, there's a mice in the walls and we have just discovered how to use the gas fireplace thing. We've done most of the holiday shopping for the children, though we haven't even started on the adults yet. We will probably end up copping out and letting the gift certificates rain down on everyone, but who knows.

Sales in the etsy shop have been consistent if not brisk, so I can't complain much. I'm hoping for an acceleration after Thanksgiving so I can justify all the gift buying that needs...okay not needs, but that we going to do. I'll keep up the facebook sale for a spell especially since my last three sales were because of that event. I don't know if that will continue, but I would have been without sales had I not done it, so it's a win for now. For having nothing more to say, I seem to have babbled quite a bit, so i'll leave it now and get to some more tatting.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Again yesterday I was charged with babysitting my niece of the broken foot. While the first go round was pleasant and calm, apparently a weekend at her fathers house got her all crazy like and it was impossible to get her and my children to slow down. So I wrote off school for the morning and tatted instead. First I managed to create enough small pieces to get my listed items up to 100. This was of course a pointless endeavor as I actually want to sell things, so the number hopefully will drop soon. It was still something to work forward to, so in that respect, job well done.

Next up was the first day of my item a day facebook sale. I chose one of the selected items and put it on sale for $10 off. I suppose you could count that as a success as I did sell two of the sale item. Only time will tell how long it will be worth the effort. My original plan was to extend the sale a day through the holidays. but I can't imagine that just 150 people are going to buy at least one thing a day for the next month and a half. So, I guess we'll just see how it goes.

Oh, and to add to yesterdays tatting tragedy, you know where I ran out of yarn, I had an important package of supplies returned to sender as undeliverable. Of course said package was chock full of things I needed, oh, yesterday. Sure I could order more, but them when I do get this package I'll have too much and I'd still have to wait for that package. I might just head over to Michaels and overpay for a small amount of the rings, but I really don't want to. I know, stubbornness is not attractive. Again, oh, well.

Monday, November 16, 2009


First off this morning, I have horrible tatting news to share. About halfway down the second side of my Art Deco scarf in black...I ran out of yarn. Now, this wouldn't be so tragic except the yarn I used was acquired elsewhere and not carried in my neck of the woods. I prompted ordered some more from a quick shipping company, but it will still be days before I can finish the scarf...I am sad.

In other news, you might recall how I purchased a top on etsy and was cajoled into providing models pictures of said top to the maker. No? Well, I did and the shirt arrived on Friday along with a great many extras thrown in as a bribe. I am in love with this top from poppyswickedgarden. Honestly, it looks great, feels better and well, here is a picture. You can see more if you click the image as it links to the listing at etsy. I always feel goofy "modeling", but my 5 year old helped with the pictures and it was a bit more fun than I thought. So, if you'd like to send me free handmade clothes to "model" for you...feel free. No? Fine, be that way.

Again I fall into the task of remaking pieces. I did manage to get a few new small ones listed in the store over the weekend and I even got a front page 4 in the morning. I didn't it because I sleep, but it got me a few views and a couple of convos all about the listing picture that was not done by me, but still. Here's hoping for a feature in a more prominent time slot some time soon.

Last bit of news here. I plan on starting an exclusive facebook fan sale today. It will be one item a day on sale advertised only there, available only to fans. So if you're there and not a fan yet, click over there in the left column to become one so you might be privy to such goings on.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Ah, Friday, that glorious day that says to you, 'hey, you still have one more insanely busy day before you get to relax!' and then kicks you in the rear for thinking otherwise. On today's butt kicking agenda, eight hours of babysitting my niece...who has a recently broken foot and shall need to be carried to the bathroom. Also today, we have the laundry which I failed to put away yesterday, several more pieces that need making, normal homeschooling duties and all the other miscellaneous tasks that rear their ugly heads during the course of an average day. To help me deal with this list, I have...well, I have nothing, just me. It's going to be a fun one indeed.

Going back to yesterday for a moment though. I listed both of the new slave bracelets and while they were well received on twitter, there was a shiny new view bug on etsy, so all my new listing were showing '0' views. I know that in the wider scheme of things this is but a minor annoyance, but it is a really annoying annoyance. It seems to be fixed now, but I have no idea whether the views during the bugs reign were counted. Again, I know silly problem, but I really like to know what my views are really like...I'm obsessed like that.

I mentioned that I have a few more pieces to remake today and I still haven't gotten back to that scarf. Unless I get another custom request that requires me to make something new, I think the next new item will be the belly dance necklace that can not be started until my supplies arrive. The shipping times on the site I ordered from are ridiculously long, so it will likely be a rush job anyway. Well, the sun is now rising and I must prepare for the day.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


So turns out, I was a big old liar yesterday as I wrote that I would accomplish nothing during the day. I assumed a days worth of activities coupled with sheer exhaustion would preclude working. On the contrary, the husband wasn't feeling well, so the activities changed to movie watching on the couch and I can work with that.

I finished the collar I was working on during our blu ray screening of Up and then I started work on the slave bracelet design during a Spongebob marathon. My accepted task was to make a slave bracelet design that was less flowery and girly. My first attempt was to take the starbust motif that I've tuned into a pendant as well as a necklace and work it into the bracelet base that I already use.
It was basically a this for that exchange so it worked up quickly and I posted it for the customers approval as well as on the facebook fan page.

It was rejected as being still a little too girly, so I began work on take two. This time I took the same design as my heart pendant and further modified the pattern until it was large enough to be place on the hand. This was not a simple this for that exchange and I spent quite a while looking cross eyed at the pieces trying to see how to marry them together. Once the idea clicked I had the new one made up before the children woke from their naps and this time it was approved. Since the first was one a prototype and the customer wanted a pair, I made up two with some slight variations to match. That means that both of these designs will be making a debut in my etsy store today. I know, two new things in one day...amazing.

In other news, I appear to be doing rather well in the voting phase of the Instructables contest. There are still three days left for the voting, so go and vote for my mask tutorial if you haven't yet. I think I might actually have a shot at winning at least a second place in this thing. I wish I could see how many votes have actually been cast, but that's not an option. Anyway, link is here if you still need to go and vote!

I'm going to try and get back to that scarf today and I have at least one mask that wants to be remade as well, but we'll see. I think today might be a fall out day after all that progress yesterday. Yeah, I might just try and relax and you know, do some laundry, dishes, or really get crazy and vacuum something. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Sorry if I lack the chipper this morning, but we hosted a sleepover last night. I know you're thinking, aren't your daughters really young? Why, yes they are. We had their cousins over along with Grandma to help. This equals 4 girls between the ages of 2 and 7. Now, I remember the destruction of teenage girl slumber party, but was different. This was, mommy has to sleep with us too and even though we're tired, we're going to fight the actually going to sleep until you're ready to explode with uncontrollable rage tempered only by the fact that you're so tired too. So, yeah...not so much with the chipper this morning.

Today is also a holiday, no homeschooling and husband is home from work. So even if I wanted to get work done, it is unlikely to occur. I did get a request for a slightly different patterned slave bracelet so I might carve out some time to work on a new one. It won't be completely different, but I need to change the motif that sits on the hand and perhaps the bottom edge of the bracelet to match better with whatever motif I go with.

Still on the remaking kick as well as working on the new scarf. Since no one is technically waiting for the scarf I'm not in a huge rush to get it done. I keep telling myself that scarf only sell during the winter, but then I have to remind myself that the world is round and it's only winter up here. I do have quite a few Australian customers so, yeah no rush on the scarf.

I'd continue to go on about stuff, but I am exhausted and can't remember if there was anything else worth sharing. Oh, but thanks so much to everyone that took a minute to go vote in the Instructables Halloween contest for me. I really appreciate it, if you haven't yet, the link is here. Since I'm feeling a bit attention deprived lately this is a welcome salve and now I shall try to go and wake up some more.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Instructables Contest

And a happy Tuesday morning to you. No, I'm not in a ridiculously fine mood today, just felt the need for a greeting. Oh and I have a small favor to ask of you. Don't worry, it's a small one. last year the slide show of my tatted mask won third place in the Instructables Halloween contest co-sponsored by etsy. It was my introduction to the site and a month later I had completed the tutorial for the mask making it eligible for entry in this years contest. So as you might have guessed it has been entered, now I need you to go and vote for the Mask Tutorial so that I might have a chance to win...please. You'll find the contest page here and you only need to login and vote since I know many of you have already registered for the site. If you haven't, there is a free membership and you can find tutorials on almost anything you should ever want to know. Thank you for your time.

Moving on, I spend most of yesterday working on an Art Deco scarf with Panda Cotton yarn. It's a bamboo, cotton blend and is slightly thicker than the wool I usually use for the pattern. The motifs worked up just fine, but as I began the edging, it was clear that the size difference was going to require a different pattern for the edge to work. I made some on the fly changes and Ive still a way to go before it's done and we see whether the changes result in a nice pattern or not.

I might take a break on the scarf today as I now have a few pieces that need remaking. Here's hoping that this is the beginning of a brisk holiday shopping season. The last few years, I've used nearly all the money made during the season for our holiday gifts, so the more I sell, the more I get to shop. Though we are nearly done with all the kids gifts, we haven't even started on all the adults that we need to gift.

So today, remaking pieces, cleaning the house for a cousin sleepover, ordering up some promo stickers from somewhere. Ooh and I still need to get those beads and check my supplies for any other things I need. I'm also waiting for some new supplies to arrive so that I can make a piece for a belly dancers costume. I'm really excited about this one, since I seem to have made the acquaintance of quite a few dancers and I'd love to be able to make a line that appeals specifically to them. Wow, I'm meandering all over today. I'll stop now so I can again get to work.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Xerces Blue

I am a tatting machine lately. First, I got all those ordered pieces worked up. They were ones I can really do in my sleep, having remade them quite a bit, though they are larger pieces. Then I set about making a couple more of the new gray quadra bracelets only to realize that I did not order any more of the black swarovski rounds at their centers, so I'll need to get that done soon or no more of those bracelets. By Sunday I was fiending for something new to make that I could get done quickly, so I opted for a bracelet based on the same motif as the fringe arm band, but without the fringe. I used some of the hand dyed purple and came up with a new piece.

I had a fun little jaunt using my twitter friend to help my name this one too. Each motif looks a tiny bit like a butterfly, so after some help and a wikipedia search, I came up with 'Xerces Blue' which is an extinct purple butterfly with a nice rounded wing. Of course if I make the design in other colors it won't make as much sense, but I still love the name.

After I was done with that for the afternoon, I busted out some black bamboo blend yarn and began work on another Art Deco scarf. We all know how long it will take me to finish that, so no breath holding anyone. I do have enough yarn to make another in the same purple wool as the last one, so I may just relist that as a custom piece today just to have the option up, but I was more interested in seeing how this bamboo yarn turns out. So far, it's much more, um, solid I guess. We'll see anyway won't we? I've got this feeling that I've a rather long week ahead of me though I've no good reason to think that. I want to keep tatting and get as much done as I can hoping that it will result in a nice self fulfilling prophecy of holiday sales running amok. I can dream can't I?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Strike That, Reverse It

I can not believe that I started out the day with that whole, 'no sales, no motivation'. No, wait, i can believe that, what I can not believe is how the day turned out. First I get the scarf photos. Nice right? Then I decide to hold off listing it until the afternoon so that the facebook page had a proper preview. It was listed and then sold in just a few hours...I was in shock, happy, but in shock. Should I start another straight away? No, I decided to work on something smaller.

I got out the hand dyed gray thread and decided to make a quadra bracelet with swarovski rounds in black. I was really happy with the way this one turned out. I mean, it's a very familiar pattern, simple, basic, but change up the thread and it really looked amazing. I listed it, tweeted it and just a few minutes later, it was sold...damn.

I was already working on the opposite bracelet in black with gray rounds, so I finished that one and started on another gray one. I really wanted to keep it listed. Nice, isn't it? That's not all either. I heard in the afternoon that etsy is no longer going to refund fees from returned orders. This isn't huge, except that I just agreed to a return of two expensive, for me anyway, pieces. I was a bit annoyed and I changed my return policy to reflect the change. This really just means that I needed a real return policy, so I have one now.

Then in the evening, I had an inquiry regarding a piece that didn't have made and for once the inquiry turned into a sale. A sale full of custom pieces. See, now I have all the motivation that I need. I guess it's a 'be careful what you wish for' sort of situation. I am sure not complaining, but I am now getting back to work.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

PIle Of Lace

The scarf is done. I wish I could show you some awesome pictures of it, but I finished too late in the afternoon and by the time it was pressed the sun has passed. I could have gotten some pictures anyway, but they're never really good without the sun. So late, I promise. For now I have a picture of a pile of yarn that will look like a scarf soon after the picture was taken. I honestly can't believe that I even continued making the first scarf after I saw how awful the lace looks right off the needle. It misbehaves something horrible, all curled and twisted, but just a little heat and steam and it will look wonderful, I swear.

I started tatting a necklace after I finished work on the scarf and it feels so weird to go back to working with thread after having the large, coarse yarn sliding through my fingers for days. I know there are at least a half dozen pieces I need to get remade, but as November has started out like, well there have been no sales anyway, I've got that creation malaise. Hard to want to keep creating when things are just sitting. I'll get it done, but there is less enthusiasm for the work.

I am trying to also work out some deal or sale to offer exclusively to the facebook fans. If you swing that way, be sure to stop by and fan the page so you're around when I do figure it out. I'm thinking of offering a sale item a day or something like that, but I'm not married to the idea. I probably won't be offering any other major sales this holiday season save for maybe a free shipping deal, so if you are looking for a deal, that's the place to find it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Other Life

And the scarf tats on. I was quite busy yesterday with the business of life rather than needle and thread. I had the first quarter face to face conference with my home schooled daughters teacher. We were to turn in work samples and demonstrate that she has in fact been learning. While I was nervous going in, it was mostly due to ignorance. I simply had no idea what to expect. It was a breeze and of course my daughter is right on track, so we'll just keep doing what we're doing.

Then there was an impromptu trip to get new tires on the car. And since I have the most awesome of in-laws, it was a free trip to get new tires on the car. This took us all the way up to nap time, which I spent tatting and staring at twitter. During that interlude I spied a gorgeous top on the etsy and after all of 15 minutes of conversation, I had purchased it. I was also cajoled to model the top when it arrives for the creator. So, I will share that when it happens, though it is a made to order piece, so it could be a'll probably forget I ever said anything.

Then the evening was another unplanned trip to visit the children's cousins so that they might play like crazy people for a couple of hours. I brought my tatting, but never did it get out of the bag. So, it was one of those days when it was a good thing that I haven't had an order to fill in a bit, because I would have needed to ignore it anyway.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

To Make Scarf

Sometimes we ignore what we planned on doing in favor of something more interesting. Sometimes that's what we thought we were doing, but they it turned out that we were so very wrong. I thought that rather than work on more of the same, I would instead work on a tatted scarf. I even went so far as to try out a new ides. The new new idea did not pan out, so instead, I ended up starting an Art Deco scarf. It's one of my older designs that I have not made in quite some time as summer scarfs don't really sell.

So far, I'm sure this doesn't sound like it was a bad idea, but it was fraught, let's say setbacks. First I couldn't find the proper needle. I checked my little supply jugs and when I didn't locate it there, I went about the house, tearing through boxes and whatnot searching for it. I was about to give up when I found it...wait for the very first place I had looked. Undeterred I began to make the small center motifs for the design. After a couple of them the yarn began to have breaks in it. Tears over and over again in random spots meaning several motifs were discarded as the breaks were discovered. I didn't put two and two together until one of my cats snatched the ball right out of the bag. Wonderful...this ball has fallen victim to the teeth of a cat at some point. I continued my work hoping that after the top layer was worked through the breaks would stop.

The other reason I haven't worked on a scarf in a while is I am one of instant gratification. I like a pieces to be started and if not fully finished at least to resemble the finished product in a day. What do I have upon waking this morning? A pile of small nondescript motifs. Even with a mask, it is mask shaped by the end of the first day...not so the scarf. So, you have already guessed what I shall be doing today. Well that and the first real face to face conference with the homeschooling teacher.

The one thing that made all the tedious motif creation tolerable yesterday was a new twitter activity...unfollowing. Yep, I finally got sick of all those random people I automatically followed back in the beginning. Like most people, I was obsessed with growing my numbers and didn't care who I was following. Then I sat down and got rid of each extraneous person as they tweeted. It was quite liberating. I had a few friends worry that they were going to be discarded, but this was about getting rid of people I have nothing in common with and there are way too many of those. Sure, they'll start to unfollow me as they realize they've been dumped, but was there any value if following each other in the first place. They probably care as little abut my tatting, etsy, mommy, strange talk as I care about their random stuff. I was going to pick a topic there and they decided that might end up being too specific, so yeah, random crap. So today, I will keep unfollowing until I get a list full of people I actually enjoy listening to. It really is liberating.

Monday, November 2, 2009


See, I told you that there would be one of these soon. So, after three and a half years of shilling my goods on etsy I have warranted the "favorite" treatment by at least 5000 people. Every single time I get one of these milestones I make a comment about how I don't even know that many people, which is true, but with each one the statement becomes more of a "duh". Of course, I don't know that many people, which is of course one of the reasons it feels so awesome to be here at last. I wish that I could report that these hearts were directly related to sales, but alas that has never been true. For as many people who shop, there are dozen more of the window variety, who merely collect images that they covet. That's fine too though, it's certainly nice to be coveted.

The 5000th heart was given to me by my husband. I didn't even realize that he had an account. Of course then I remembered that he had made purchases for me, so there you go. Shortly after that I lost a few hearts, then got a few more. I think we've settled over the mark now though, so I can safely celebrate the milestone.

The facebook stats also crossed the 100 mark, giving my ego, if not my wallet, a nice boost. The other experiment this weekend, that was the Wunderkammer fan edition...well, it didn't fair so good. Turns out my taste is much more particular than most and though I ended up with enough pieces for today's post, I don't think I'll be doing that again anytime soon. It ended up actually being more work for me in the end since I was sifting through listings anyway. I do appreciate all those that left links though. There were so few that each was important.

Halloween passed without much joy at our house. In fact the children have developed a fear of trick or treating. Each house was a huge drama and soon we gave up the ghost and came home. Sure, they enjoyed dressing up and they wanted the candy, but the 5 year old is afraid of all the decorations and the 2 year old is apparently afraid of strangers behind doors. Hopefully they'll be better next year and we can actually enjoy the experience.

I'm back to tatting sold pieces and trying to see what else is still left unlisted. I'm also trying to decide what pieces might be likely to be bought during the holidays, though that effort has never been correct. I've made dozens of pieces in the past that I thought would sell only to see them sit around gathering dust, well not literally, but you get the point. I'll probably still give it a go though while I appear to have a bit of a break. Well, I think that's it for me today. Here's to a good week going forward.