Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tatted Spats

I'd love to tell you that I'm all better, but the throat zombie is still there, though it seems he might have sent home his friends. The worst part about this cold thing is that my family got it first so I know what is coming next and I am not looking forward to it. I suppose it is possible that my body will react differently, that my nose won't start running like a sieve, but I fear it unlikely. That's enough sick talk though, onto the tatting.

I did finish working up the second ankle corset and since it looks so much like a spat, I went with tatted spat as a descriptor, though I kept ankle corset in there as like a brand identifier of something. Okay, it sounds ridiculous to refer to oneself as a brand, but whatever. I thought I'd give you some details on the design. The center section was tatted in a discontinued cebelia light gray. I have a just a couple of balls of this left in this shade. The outer ring is made up of small motifs tatted together using the hand dyed gray. There are slight variations in the batch, but overall a very smooth color. Then the outside is just plain old black. The first time I did this piece I did not add the edging to the top, but I thought it needed the outline with that very light gray center.

It's kid of funny, in the browns I think this piece had an entirely different look. In the gray and black, they come off very lolita. I can just see them with a big poofy tea lengthen black skirt. But I digress, next up on the tatting list is to get a wrist corset, gauntlet made up so I can list one and I might even list the first neck corset I made, the one without the beads. Sure, I could keep it, but where would I wear it, Target? Then I need to get a few more things remade, namely the headband. I think I might do up a black version this time. You know, I'm thinking to myself right now, if this is my sick time list of tasks...there is something very wrong with me. Of course, I am avoiding the major cleaning that the house needs before the weekend. That is how I chose to rest, sue me.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


So, you doing this morning? Well, you remember that I mentioned there seemed to be something dead in my throat. It seems that over night, it invited over some friends and that urban myth about fingernails growing after death must be true because they are using them to do a little jig all over my throat. Other wise, I'm just peachy, thanks. Of course on the plus side, the rest of the family appears to be doing better so I didn't get to stay up half the night listening to the symphony of the coughs, so there's that at least.

The day wasn't too bad, I did a short school day for my oldest and they managed to be fairly well behaved thanks in part to art class. I finished wrapping the wire on one mask and made another that had been ordered. Then I got back to a project I wanted to do a while ago. I don't know if you remember an ankle corset design I did in browns that looked more like a spat. Well the brown version was promised to someone exclusively and while I still wait to break that surprise, I figured why not make it in another color scheme. I had taken out the gray threads quite a spell ago to try it, but with the desire to move a lot taken out of me, it was the perfect time to give it a go.

I of course did not write down the original pattern, as I had a prototype, never mind that said prototype is relatively useless as I made a major design change in the final piece. So, I used both that and the pictures I took to make the new one up. Now only one is done now, but I should be able to get its twin made today. If things go according to plan, I'll get pictures and get it listed as well. No guarantees of course. It always amuses me going back to a pattern like this. I wonder why I thought this strangely shaped mess would work in the first place. I do spend a lot of time stopping and trying things on to see if they will lay properly, but still, what a strange shape.

So, that's the plan for the day providing that the undead in my throat allow me some energy, it's too early to tell for sure yet. Oh and did I mention that my youngest turns three on Saturday which means I need to clean the house for the celebrations as fun all around.

Monday, March 29, 2010

For Your Neck & Wrist

I wish I could, in good conscious, begin today's post with a happy Monday sentiment, but I can not. During the weekend the household cold/illness worked it's way through the remaining members in good health taking down the youngest on Saturday. Me, it took the longest to overcome. I started with a slightly irritated throat and a rare cough...I thought I had escaped the worst of it, but no. This morning I awake to a sensation that could only be something dead in my throat, an overwhelming malaise and a host of other symptoms. The world does not stop for me though, I must keep on moving...I do not however, have to like it.

I owe you some pictures it seems. I finished up the embellished neck corset. I know my picture skills leave a bit to be desired, but for this piece there is good news. It was created as basically a photo prop, which you might have guessed means I shall be sending it off to a real photographer in the near future. I should get the neck corset back with amazing pictures that do the work justice after that. So you will not see this sitting in the shop any time soon though the unembellished version may eventually end up there.

Next up we have the wrist corset. Yes, I know I might be taking the whole corset description a little far, but it laces up the back too, so I'm keeping it. I had planned to try this look out ages ago when I made my first neck corset that was made of just the spine motifs. The spacing was never quite right, but with the new versions and their split ring sections, it worked perfectly. I added the victorious edging to this one to match the other neck corset I recently made. They too have a date with an entirely different photographer. I am going to try and get a few more of these wrist corsets made up though, because they went over so well on the facebook fan page.

Now, I am perfectly certain that I am forgetting to tell you something this morning, but the illness is winning and everything is a bit of a fog. You can of course remind me if I promised you any updates that I have not delivered. Yes, I'm sure I could go back and read Friday's post to reveal that information myself, but that kind of sounds like work. I can't imagine that today is going to be a whirlwind of activity, but I will try to get some tatting accomplished. Please forgive me if tomorrows post is simply full of random nothingness though.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Bit Of This

It seems to have been another of those time portal sort of weeks. At first it seemed to go on too slowly and then it suddenly comes to an end. I debated a lot over the week whether I should do a giveaway for the Wunderkammer's first anniversary. Since that blog features other peoples work and not my own, I couldn't really give something of mine away and I was feeling too lazy to solicit others for donations. I think you've figured where I'm going here, I did nothing. I did write a short anniversary thank you message and featured the same four sellers that I did in the very first post, but that's it. I know, it's all anticlimactic especially given all the fuss I made over this blogs anniversary. You can stop by today and leave some love though...that would be great.

In between working on the embellished neck corset, I finished up the super colorful piece I teased with yesterday. It's a convertible piece and this is just one of it's uses. It can also be worn like this as a hair piece, as a necklace, bracelet and anklet, heck I'm sure you could tie it just about anywhere. Now we'll just have to wait and see if folks like the idea enough to buy one.

Further stalling, I decided to make some earrings using my cameo pattern. I used size 20 thread and mucked with the stitch count a bit and they were small enough to wear. There was of course less room to hang goodies in though, so I just hung a swarovski round and some crystals. I also made a pair in white with a large crystal and a glass pearl, but those won't be listed until later today.

Finally, much progress on the neck corset. I finished up the first row of the necklace section which I had decided would contain the bulk of the beads. They are so very shiny. At each tip there is a sterling silver teardrop and the small silver beads dot throughout the edge. I did also manage to get the split ring sections done, so all that is left is the small clovers that act as webs between the points. They too will have some silver beads in them. The beads while light have definitely given the piece some heft both physically and visually, I think. I just hope it's not too much heft.

I have an open house for my daughter this evening and a bit of preparing to do for that and the weekend should be busy with family birthday parties and a bunch of other nonsense. So, what I'm trying to say is if I don't get the neck piece done today, it's gonna be a while, so I'm going to try and rush on it. There is of course no actual rush on getting it done, but I am an impatient person. Well that and I want to get back to the wrist cuffs and a few other ideas that keep spring up while I work before I forget them completely. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever slow down.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Well, Would You Look At That

Apparently I wrote a bit too soon yesterday as almost immediately after I published yesterdays blog post I got a nice email from a French customer who had just received her order. She had taken the time to scan an article in a local magazine and sent it to me. Why? Because that's where she found me in the first place.

It's the same basic write up that I've been seeing in other fashion blogs since one of my facebook fans mentioned my work on a fashion networking site, but this one is in print. I mentioned it yesterday and wondered if this is what has actually been shared with me, what else might there be out there that I don't know about. It's actually quite a lovely thought. So thank you again to both the fan and the customer. This sort of this is a day maker!

I was slow going on the embellished collar though. My oldest daughter has come down with something,but since I home school this only means that I need to have more patience with her as we work. Also trying to keep her in rest mode is nigh on impossible as nothing is really different. All that being said I did get all the spine motifs worked up and I adore working with the sterling beads. I thought they would be just like seed beads, but the shine and the feel of them, they really have a different look. I have gotten further and started adding them to the first row of the necklace portion, but alas the light was gone by that point in the evening so no pictures.

The one thing that brings me down about a large project like this is the lack of instant gratification. I had really gotten used to making pieces up that were finished quickly, that I could get pictures of and list the same day.To that end, I often take small breaks during the large projects to do something completely different. Yesterday it was bust out with the spring colored threads and make something with a Celtic edge. This is actually a piece I've made before in a different color combination that is currently in a secret location awaiting revealing. I'll be adding a bead to the center today and I might get it listed so you can see what it actually is besides ridiculously colorful. They are all the hand dyed threads that I got from Heather. Perhaps together they are overkill, but I needed to make something to take the edge off of all the black. Odd, since I love working in black...maybe it's the weather messing with me. I might make another of these in a different color blend, perhaps purples when I need another break today and here's hoping I don't catch whatever he child has, even though it is probably inevitable.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yep, That's It

The pile of recently ordered tatting I was working on shrank up nicely yesterday. I even began on the new cuff to match the neck corsets when something unexpected happened. It was just before noon and the door bell rang. It was fed ex with my supplies. Perhaps it was the universe trying to make me look like a liar after yesterdays delivery rant, but hey, I'll take it.

I had ordered up some sterling silver beads, little 2mm ones. I was afraid that they were going to be too big or heavy, but after just one motif with the two small beads dotting the top, I'm convinced it was the right call. Since that was all I accomplished, I did not snap any photos of it. I should get enough done today to show off for tomorrow though. The tear drop shaped beads I got for the tips are equally light so they should work swimmingly as well, though they have sealed jump rings so I might have to get creative in the actual placement of them. I think I've already sussed it out though.

Working on the orders yesterday kept me pretty busy, so I was far less social than usual and as a result have far less to talk about today. One other shocking moment was mid afternoon when I finally realized that if I was going to send off my headband, I was going to need to write down the pattern. I didn't have time to get another made up before I shipped this one out, so I wrote it down. It really is a pain in the neck, but I'm certain that I will thank myself later this week when I do have time to get it made.

So that's it then. No pictures, nothing groundbreaking to share, just another day...just another day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yet Another Neck Corset

Let's see first off, I did get some pictures of the new neck corset/collar/necklace piece. Again, I really didn't get the magnitude of the thing until I got it laced up. It is just another of my pieces that I personally have no place to wear. Seriously, no place. Once I get around to the matching cuff bracelets, this piece will likely be heading off to another photographer. That doesn't mean it won't eventually make it into the shop, but I have to tell you the price tag on these suckers will not be for the faint of heart. Like most of my larger creations, they were created simply for the process. You know, the 'I wonder if I can?' whispering in my ear, not to move a hundred pieces.

I spent the rest on the day making a recently ordered mask and a pair of ankle corsets. The ankle corsets are far from complete so that will be most of my day today. I do get my supplies in for the embellished collar, but we apparently live in the neighborhood of delivery limbo. We tend to get our packages at eight in the evening and even with the curtains open and the lights on, they rarely even deign to knock on the door. It is seriously annoying to have to constantly check the porch to see if a delivery has come... I'm looking at you UPS. Ring the damn doorbell, it's a freaking button not a torture device. How hard is that?

Anyway, so there's the ankle corsets, then onto the cuffs, then perhaps some more remaking as I also sold my headband and that's another time consuming creation. Oh and I need to get a pendant made up for the intatters exchange. At least that task will be quick. It's sort of funny, every time there is a lull in my sales, I want to complain a bit, but as I have discovered in the past and really should just think immediately, use the time you're granted wisely as you never know when you'll be swamped again and can get nothing significant done. You know, like now.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Aaaarrrrggghhh, everything hurts...stupid Spring, making me do yard work. We chose an outdoor adventure for the weekend. Saturday was a trip to Lowe's where we got plants and bits and bobs for the yard, a picnic in the park, trip to the zoo and a walk downtown to the comic book store and the bakery. It was lovely...then the kids took a nap and when they awoke we went into the yard. We planted and pulled weeds and errant grass in the flower beds. After the children became irreversibly muddy, we headed in for the day only to return outside Sunday morning, to move trees and continue the grass pulling and weeding. We have a huge front yard since we live on an odd lot. My fingers are sore, my back is sore...every bit is sore, but it's done for now.

As you might imagine all of this outside time precluded any real tatting progress on the weekend. Lucky for me, Friday was a sit on the couch and work sort of day. I made up 5 different cameo pieces and have listed all but one. I also finished up a second neck corset/collar piece. I of course got no pictures of that yet. I actually used the same pattern for the neck section, but changed out the bottom edge. I used the same basic edge as one of my other collar necklaces, the Victorious one, but again I had to fiddle with the pattern to make it fit. This one is slightly less grand, maybe a little more wearable though.

I should be getting my supplies in to make the embellished version of the first collar on Tuesday. I also got a mask order over the weekend that I need to get made up, but after that I have an idea to match a cuff that matches the neck corsets and eventually I want to see if I can further adapt the idea to an ankle corset. So that's the plan for the next few days, hopefully, I'll get some pictures of the new neck corset to show you tomorrow and more hopefully, I'll be able to move at normal speed later.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Collar Prototype

I suppose I was overall quite pleased with the new collar/neck piece/throat corset, whatever. Then I put it, now I'm impressed with myself. Ego aside for a moment, it lays perfectly, fits well and since I am on the small side, it's worth noting that it should fit anyone so long as they're not smaller than me. Lacing it up worked just fine and yes, though it's just cotton lace it seem to have quite the posture collar effect, though no where near as extreme. My husband mocked that I am not dramatically made up enough to sport this thing. At first I was a bit annoyed, but truth be told that just means it is perfect as a photo prop and I am not a model.

I spent quite some time pouring over my fire mountain looking for the right embellishments. I wanted a bit of bling, but let's face it, this thing won't need much. I opted for sterling silver beads to adorn the top and bottom edges and peppered throughout the necklace portion. I thought about adding beads to the split ring sections, but decided that it would not only increase the difficulty level, but also make the piece slightly larger and perhaps heavy enough to slouch and we don't want that. I also ordered up some silver teardrop beads to hang from the tips. Hopefully they will be just the right weight to lay well, though I confess, I'm worried about the points on the shoulders making them hang all weird looking. Since I ordered supplies, I now get to wait patiently until they arrive.

Never a patient person, I have already begun work on another collar in this same family. The neck corset section will be the same, but I'm adding different edging. If it works, I have one more to try after that as well. I also discovered that the same motif combination makes a bold wrist piece as well. So there may be sets coming. Of course these spine motifs are time consuming and each piece needs several. I still find it amusing that I created it just to avoid working a vintage pattern with thread spaces...I hate thread spaces. I might take a bit of a break today to make up some smaller pieces just to keep the store fresh since the silver flower piece has already sold. When ordering supplies, I went though my box of 'stuff' and saw a bunch of random beads that could certainly make for some sweet one off items, particularly some green beads. So busy day ahead

Thursday, March 18, 2010

And The Winner Is

While not a single person took advantage of the one day sale, I was impressed by all the new and familiar faces in the comment stream. Thank you so very much for all the kind words and well wishes. However, only one person can win the necklace and that person is:

Blogger Xrated said...

Happy 2nd birthday! your creations are incredibly lovely and i adore following you on twitter! - Love Buddha

March 17, 2010 12:17 PM

Thanks again for all of your entries and stay tuned for whatever I do next month for my 4 year etsy anniversary as I'm certain to do something. If you didn't win the necklace and you were hankering for it, check out the shop today as I will be listing the second one I made and remember it will not live again at least not in the same way.
Aside from prodding people to enter the giveaway, I was hard at work on the new collar design. First I finished up the two sides that were giving me grieve. Of course the solution was as simple as could be. A set of rings and chains that matched the split ring sets on either side. These will provide the spaces to lace the piece up the back. It only took another chain to attach it fairly seamlessly to the necklace portion.

Next up was the hard part though. The webbing between the points. My first idea was to use a similar technique to AnneB's dragon wing. While the technique makes a fabulous dragon wing, it did not translate well to my uses. I didn't even hide and cut off the thread ends to look at the piece, I was so certain that this was not going to work. I laid that sucker on the mannequin and shook my head before snipping the section out.

Turns out I was over thinking it. I kept imagining the perfect little arches and I should have known that stretched to that sort of length tatted chains just don't hold up well. Instead I tried to find a motif within the design to mirror in the space and a simple flipped clover did the trick. I just added a fourth ring to the bottom to give it a more finished look and there it was. Of course it was creating a bit of a ruffle as I tatted, but I had faith that it would lay properly. Before I finished adding all the clovers, placed on the mannequin, it was clear the design was done. I finished adding the tatting last night and today, I will dress appropriately to try it on myself and begin the task of sussing out the proper embellishments and placement. Since the final piece is destined for a photo shoot, it should really have a bit o' bling.

Well, that's it for me today. I'll work on the collar today, though I think I might need to go shopping for the right embellishments for this piece before I get to the final one. I've got plenty of remaking I can do as I have been lazily relisting pieces that were sold as customs. You know how much I don't like doing that. So, I'm off and thanks again for all the entries yesterday!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Blog-versary To Me

Two whole years of tatting projects, strongly held opinions and best of all so many new people met. I of course assumed when I began ranting, I would be talking to myself, hence the street corner description up there on the left. I was lucky to receive so many eager readers and future friends. To thank you for that, here is a one day anniversary giveaway. Just leave a comment and a way to reach you should you win on this post for a chance to win this limited edition necklace!And by limited edition, I mean I only have one more of these odd ribbon necklace pieces, so I will only be making one more like this...ever. You can share anything in your comment, but don't beg, it's up to the random number generator who wins this piece. I'll draw a winner before I post tomorrow morning and announce the winner then.

"But Pam, that's not really thanking all of us for reading is it?" No, I suppose it isn't, so how about a one day sale as well. Let's go with 20% off the entire shop today only. Mention the blog-versary in the notes to seller and I will refund the sale amount to you. I hope that you have enjoyed my ramblings and will continue to follow me in the future. I've come ridiculously far in these past couple of years, so I'm hoping that the future brings more of the same. Thanks again and good luck with the giveaway!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Collar, It Grows

I have made some substantial progress on the new collar design. After I made up all the spine motifs, I added the first row of the Arches necklace. I was left with quite an unruly string of pieces. Seriously this stuff is horrible to work with as the thread tangles around all the long motifs.

Next up was the bottom edge of the Arches necklace I did make a few modifications to this section as well, but only because it will now sit down a bit farther on the collar bone so it should splay out a bit more otherwise I was happy to note that that sections married together quite nicely.

Next up was the first 'super fun' part, trying to get the proper space between the long motifs. I won't lie, the final solution was not the first solution. I originally created a chain section that worked like laces zigzagging and crossing over one another. Then I proceeded to cut that sucker out. It pulled the pieces too close together at the stitch count I used, but if I increased them, it would have looked a bit...well, odd. So I went back to the old stand by, a strip of split rings. I really do dislike working them as I don't enjoy the re threading over and over, but they did the trick as they always do. The spacing was perfect and I did finish adding them last night, but I've no finished picture of that yet.

Next up on the project is to work out the outside edge, though it's like to be either strips of split rings or a simple ring and chain strip for lacing up the back. Then I get to work out the best way to create the bat wing effect between the large points. I'm thinking a dense design would be best, but I really don't know yet. It'll come to me I'm sure. Once that's sussed out, then I get to think embellishments, beads and drops and whatnot. I want this one to look extra fancy not just extra big.

One last thing before I depart today, just a heads up. Tomorrow my blog celebrates its second birthday. I'm not sure whether I'm shocked it's only been two years or more shocked that I've had so much to say that I filled up two years. That's not the point I'm trying to make here though. I will have a one day blog giveaway starting tomorrow morning and ending before I post the next morning. I haven't decided what I'm giving away yet, but it will be up in the morning, so stop back by tomorrow and get all entered to win, whatever it is to celebrate two years of people reading my ramblings.

Free Tatted Cameo Pattern

Good gracious, what a weekend. Sunny days and lawn working, making. . .making and more making. Really, I don't even know where to start on this one. There has been significant progress on the new collar piece, but I shall save that for tomorrow as I wanted to post the cameo pattern for your enjoyment today, but first one thing that transpired in the comments of Friday's blog that I would be remiss not to mention here.

I was called out on the pattern for the Key to My Heart pendant. You see the pattern was among the first I snagged from the Internet when I began learning to tat. All that remains of it is a faded, stained diagram of it. I don't think I ever knew who designed it & couldn't remember where I found it, but I adored it so that I kept right on using it well after I had begun to design my own pieces. Part of me hopes that the designer would see it and contact me, but it never happened so I let it slide away. In Friday's comments the designer, Betsy Evans, was named along with a polite suggestion that I credit her. I don't think I've changed a listing so fast in my life. I never did try to claim ownership of the design, I just never had enough information to share the origin before. Hopefully it's is remedied now and I hope I have not upset anyone with this glaring omission. Of course in hindsight I could have just asked and a dozen tatters would have likely had the answer, but when I was concerned I knew few tatters and like I said, I let it slip away and did not think much about it after. Lazy? Maybe, but a more elaborate excuse would be a lie. Now onto the pattern.

Tatted Cameo Pendant

size 10 crochet cotton, size 5 needle ( of course you may substitute, but size will vary)

*R 5ds picot 5ds close rw
*R of 8 Victorian sets (sets are 10 of the 1st half ds and 10 2nd half ds) separated by a small picot
close rw
*ch 3ds picot 3 ds picot 3ds picot 3 ds join to first small picot of previous ring. Continue around until you reach the end join t top of ring. Close, cut and tie.

If you've not done Victorian sets, they are similar to Josephine chains and twist back and forth on their own, let them. The sets will form a zigzag pattern. When joining the chains to the ring take a moment to make sure that the rings turns stays even for the best result.

I used a head pin, added a key and bead though the top ring, but you of course may add whatever fits in the cameo. I would prefer if you use the pattern for personal use, but as long as you fill your cameo with something different than mine you may feel free to sell your piece as well since I think they will all look so different. I would of course ask that you credit me for the design...I know this sounds a bit ironic today, but there you have it.

Any questions feel free to ask. I was going to do a Victorian sets video, but got far too busy this weekend, but it may still happen. Good luck and enjoy.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Muse

The muse, she is back. I spent the morning finishing up a pair of white barefoot sandals, but as soon as they were done I went off on a very small project. I had this earring from high school who had no pair and it was a nice goth looking piece. I though it would be neat to fame it in tatting and make a nice one of a kind piece. I had attached the earring poorly, so after I decided that the pendant was good, I cut it out to start again. This is the point where my two year old claimed the earring as her own. So I thought I'd make the piece and then attach it with a jump dice. After it was made, I decided to change the center entirely and got a much different final piece.

This is quite an easy piece really, but after I posted it to my facebook page I received a request for the pattern. I had no idea how to write the dang thing down as I had experimented with Victorian sets for the piece. The center ring consists of sets with a picot between each of them. The outside then is simple chains, but how to write that down so someone not living in my brain knows what I'm talking about. I have of course heard of the Victorian sets by a few names, even seen examples of them, but I have never seen them in a pattern. So I headed over to intatters to ask them how on bloody earth to write this out and it seems that I am not alone in my query, but a proper solution did present itself that made sense to most, so I shall get that written up for the requester.

Once that was hashed out I took to the larger project on my to do list, the collar piece. So here's the basic concept. Take my throat corset and marry it to my most recent large collar/choker. Placed together on my mannequin head, it seems a simple task. Of course upon closer inspection, it is drama. Okay, maybe not that bad, but there will be a host of modifications to each individual section to make them happy together. The first of which is a complete redesign of the throat corset so that bottom clovers are now also the top clovers of the necklace portion. This means that each motif of the corset must be longer and I must also come up with a new way to attach them to each other as there must now be a space between them. I'm toying with the idea of using actual chains or ribbons to attach them, but there may end up being a proper tatting solution in the end. Right now, I'm making the modified motifs from the corset section and then I will redesign the necklace portion to attach. Unlike the necklace shown, this one will have points all the way around and the bottom edge will also fill in a bit between the points in a sort of bat wing shape.

Obviously, this is a long term project, so I'll keep taking pictures and sharing the progress with you. I decided to go ahead and do the first one as a prototype in black and then the final piece may add some bead work and embellishments, but I want to get the pattern established first. Might even write it down this time. What? It could happen.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sweet Relief

Can someone please tell me how it is not Friday yet. Yeah, I know that there must always be a Thursday, but I'm fairly certain that I experienced an entire week already. In fact, really it ought to be Saturday, but's just is Thursday, right?

The black hole that is my creative energy continued full force yesterday. In fact, it was so bad, I cleaned...the house. I had to do something but I couldn't design to save my life. I started tatting a few older designs and listed the bride's feet, a different set of barefoot sandals in white, but nothing really new. I hadn't made these ones in months...many months. They start with the same motif as my Art Deco pendants and I just keep working the center of the pattern, then added my own attachment point and done.

The husband is home now and already this morning has a completely different feel and before I got up, I was working out the new dramatic collar design in my head. Ah, it's almost as if I just need his presence to be fully myself. That seems ridiculously corny, but it's not like much of my routine is different and still it feels different. So hopefully, today the muses will grant me favor and I'll get a few things done. I hope so because I really love documenting the design process here and it's been a little while since I was able to do so with all the secret projects milling about. Well, off to it then.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday, I'm So Glad To See You

Ah, dawn is about to break on my last day fighting the good fight alone. Yeah, I know I'm being overly dramatic. In fact the only big downside to being the only parent for a few days is that there is no one else to distract the children, even for a moment, meaning I get little else done.Luckily I had less else that needed to be done. Sure, I had things to tat and I made sure I used every second of the magic nap hours to get that done, but otherwise no deadlines staring at me.

Both the new necklaces are now listed. The large one I showed you yesterday and the smaller version is here. The same motif, albeit modified to my liking is used in both pieces, so that this is the little sister or more wearable of the two being slightly less dramatic is appearance.

A photographer friend saw the larger version yesterday and has given me the task of making a much more elaborate piece based on the basic structure of that one. This will be an epic collar crossed with my throat corset in an unholy hybrid. It will also have to wait until I have backup in the house to begin. I tried to work on another challenge piece yesterday and I had all the creative energy of a robot. I could not design to save my life. Apparently, you need a proper amount of rest for your brain to function, who knew?

Let's see anything else for your reading pleasure today. I did receive an interesting email from a Japanese company who wants to sell my product, specifically the ankle corsets. Sure, it sounds neat and it might even be on the level as the English was educated and didn't have the marking of a Nigerian scam, but let's face it, even if I dropped everything to make ankle corsets all day, every day, I still could not be a mass producer. It's simply not possible. I might, if I only worked on them and stopped, you know cleaning and stuff get one pair made every day or so. That is hardly large quantities suitable for breaking into the Japanese market. I suppose it's still flattering though.

So I'm onto one more day of getting little useful done as I have to wait until the evening for the husband to return. It's been fun and I can't wait to do it again next really, I can't.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Les Grands Arcs

Alright, day two of fake single parenting. Most dramatic change is how much I need to squeeze into the magic nap hours just to feel like I got anything done, you know, for me. Between the hours of 2 and 4, I worked with mad fingers to finish the other necklace I was working on. I even managed to find a new sweet spot in the house for light to take pictures. This piece was based on a doily from a vintage book titled, Starlight Doily. I believe I talked a bit about how I needed to work the edge portion without the middle just the way written. Then I had to rip away an entire row and then designed my own top row. Then I rewrote two points to be smaller than the three front points.

This one sits a little lower on the neck than my other collar pieces, so it's even more comfortable. It does require a large space to live on your chest though. I think this might spawn a set of ankle corsets as well, but it will require even more modifications to make that work as well. I did get this one listed and pictures of the other choker taken to be listed later today. I try to space out new stuff a bit, so I can take a break later.

I got a really nice little email yesterday telling me that I inspired them to start tatting and she had posted a short piece on that in her blog. I also got an order for a brides jewelry, barefoot sandals, slave bracelets and a necklace. These sort of things are so wonderful to me. I mean, to be a tiny part of someones wedding is really special. Sure, I wasn't a tatter when I got married, so I bought my jewelry at the mall. Even still, I have those cheap pieces of jewelry in a special box and they are in all of my pictures of course. After I announced that order on twitter with a similar sentiment that it made me feel special, I was further honored with quite a few messages informing me that they too planned to use my pieces in their weddings. Wow. So thank you everyone for making me feel all warm and fuzzy all over.

So, I have wedding pieces to finish and a few other pieces to make all while playing single parent. Yeah, I might not get much done. I love my kids, but man are they getting combative. Off I go then.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm Tired

I have to say, I've just had one adventurous weekend. Friday had us driving up to the mountain town of Mariposa for much of the day as a field trip to a rock and gem museum. I saw the world's largest gold crystal formation and met the gem of my dreams called Benitoite. There was just a touch of tatting for me at the end of the day. They Saturday dawned with walks through the neighborhood, trips to the comic book shop. The day closed with a viewing of Alice in Wonderland. I thoroughly enjoyed it and wish to have in my possession most of Alice's wardrobe, really badly. There was again just a touch of tatting in the evening. Then Sunday rolled up and my husband had to leave very early to a conference from which he will not be returning for a few days. So, if it is possible Sunday was much busier than the other two as my children who have lately become rather combative with each other battled and missed Daddy. I did however get a little more tatting done thanks to the wonder that is nap time.

This is a peek at the first of two custom necklaces that I had been talking about recently. The custom pieces have made it to their home so I started on new ones for the shop. They were made to match each other by using the same point motif on both, but this one is the simpler choker version. I still need to add the hardware and press the piece before I can even get proper photos for a listing. I did also start on the larger necklace, but given my single parent status for the next few days, I'm not sure how quickly anything new will get done.

Due to a couple of new facebook fans who recommended my fan page to all their friends, my numbers there have been growing quite steadily over the last week. I am pulling a winner for the 400 fan giveaway this morning and I have already broken 525, so I'm definitely not doing another giveaway there for fan numbers at least for quite some time. I think I will start some sort of fan discount soon though, just as an incentive for them to keep hanging around and recommending my work to friends. My secret project is also coming along well, but I think I'm still a couple of months from revealing that one. Well, the children are not letting me get any more done here so I'm off.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Long Day

Well, I had quite a busy day. You know know sometimes it seems a bit like factory work when I have a list of pieces that need to be remade. It can get tedious doing the same patterns over and over again even when I still love them. All the tedium falls away when I am designing of course and oscillating between the two tasks keeps me from feeling like this is a real job. While I didn't do any designing yesterday, I did remake an old piece that was only made once over and year and a half ago. It was a custom piece, the eye patch that I showed you yesterday.

Here's the funny part, it was itself based on a rose anklet that I had designed for the same customer. I wrote that pattern down, but when I converted it to the eye patch...I did not, only I thought I had. So, I tore through my pattern book and soon realized that this was going to be another starting at my own picture for hours sort of day...and it was. I had no size measurements for the wire either, so the whole thing was a bit trial and error, but I did get it remade. Once I worked out all the nuances of the pattern, it worked up rather quickly and then I was back to remaking other pieces.

This should have of course prompted me to write down the pattern should the piece sell, but I think you won't be surprised to learn that I did not. Often when I chastise myself for not writing down a pattern in public and by public I mean on twitter, I am met with the, 'you really should write those down and do a book'. I think we all know that I lack the organizational skills for that endeavor, though thanks for the vote of confidence. There's also the deep down fear that if I were to publish my stuff, a dozen new tatters would pop up trying to sell them on etsy and I'd have to get a giant whack a mole hammer to stop them and that just sounds like a nightmare. I'm actually seeing that image in my head right now and giggling a little. I think it might be a bit too early right now.

I'm off on a field trip today with the family to the mountains. So my morning and quite possibly afternoon is shot as far as getting any tatting done, but that's alright, I need a break. I do have a few new items on my imaginary task list including a tatted pendant that looks like a button and I think I would still like to do a white rabbit mask for Wonderland. Oh, I didn't tell you...the Mad Hatter piece has sold! I was a little sad to pack him up as I had grown a bit attached to him, but he went to a good home and I think I might make another. It will be different of course as I don't have another hat pin lying around. I might change up the colors just a bit as well to make sure they are truly one of a kind pieces, So I guess, if I do make it, it will be the Mad Hatter 2. Well I'm off then.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's Only Forever

Wait, what's today? Thursday? Really? Well, there's another week getting away from me. I should really be used to it by now, but the days just float by. I did take new pictures of the now named, 'It's Only Forever' Mask. Seemed the best lyric to name it after it is so related to my 'Hands of Time' necklace. There was no sun so they are dark and I won't go into the sorry state of my skin presently, but you can imagine, that little blending eraser tool in the photo program was most helpful. I feel like I should say that I will go back and take better pictures when the lighting is better, but it would be a big old lie. I never go back and take new picture...I'm just lazy that way.

The new mask did bring up an older piece that I only ever made one of, the eye patch. It was practically useless as you can see through the lace, but it was pretty to wear and let's face it, most people who wear an eye patch, don't actually 'need' to wear an eye patch. So without a pattern again, I shall attempt to recreate that piece. Why worry about the pattern, Pam...make a brand new one?'. 'Well, I would, but then I'd have to take new pictures.' 'Oh, right.'

I did unveil my giveaway yesterday for the recent 400 fan number. I'm leaving the post open until Monday, so there is plenty of time to get an entry in, though that does mean that I will have to mention this again every day until then as the post gets buried beneath other random comments. I know I'm still new to the whole fan page thing, but it really gets on my nerves when people leave a comment saying, oh, love you...please visit my site, or fan me back. I mean I get the whole social network thing, but that just seems pushy & well, rude. It also seems a bit pointless, I mean a fan that's just there to get you to fan their page may not even like your work and if you just fan people you don't like, what good are you to them really? I would rather have 5 fans who really enjoy my work than 100 that are there simply because I plied them with sugar. Of course this too makes me epically rude right?

I am proud that I haven't gone on another rant that I'm keeping bottled up. I really want to dole out some unsolicited advice...really badly. There's someone out there making what my experiences tell me are bad decisions and I couldn't decide whether it's better to help them with advice they didn't ask for or let them find out for themselves. I have decided to let them sink or swim on their own as I would hate to give the advice and have it not work for them...or maybe I'm just a bit of a sadist. Either way, I'm staying out of it, I'll just keep ranting at my husband. I'm sure he's thrilled to read that.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tatted Mask

I've got something new for you...yay! I finished up a batch of stuff for my secret project, put the finishing touches on the custom order and then, I designed a new mask. Yes, this is the one that I envisioned while have asleep. It it not nearly as cool as I imagined it, but I think my mind had removed reality in relation to tatting and in my imaginings it was defining gravity and basic construction rules. I am however quite pleased with the toned down, but functional version you see still a bit unfinished here.

This go around I used split rings as I think I mentioned was my intent. They are worked and tied directly onto the wire. This makes the whole thing a bit smaller as previous incarnations only attached to the wire via picot. So this mask might be called a small. While a bigger version is certainly possible, this one fits me fine and there is an added benefit to the mask I hadn't fits onto glasses. All one would need to do is tie the ribbon directly to the corner of the glasses and though it would have a different finished look from the on the face placement, it works. Yes, it will look like you put a mask over glasses, but you really can't avoid that altogether.
I have a bit of finishing work to do, it will need a photo shoot and a name, then I'll get it listed. Aside from being a bit fiddly working around the wire, the design works up quickly. It's basically two rows and some extra split rings and of course the time consuming wrapping of the wire.

I mentioned to my facebook fans that I was going to do a giveaway with every hundred followers I got. As I got close to 400, I made the announcement that one was coming and a fan invited her entire network to join. I'm certain she annoyed a few of them, but quite a few of them apparently decided to join. I don't know how many will stick around after they gather that all I do is make lace, but they're here and I will be putting up the newest giveaway later this morning. So if that's your bag, stop by later and enter. I will be giving away a Salome's Adornment anklet...which of course means I need to make another very soon. The giveaway will run until Monday to give everyone a chance to throw their hat into the ring.

Hopefully I'll get to most of my tasks today, but I'm still feeling a bit rundown after the cold that never ended. Okay, yes, it ended, but I am certainly having an issue getting my energy back and it's made me whiny. The taxes aren't helping brain hurts and I'm all stressed out. This year I vow better records and a trip to an accountant, so they can stress out instead of me. Seriously, if they want my money so bad, they really should make this easier to do. I'm glad to pay them really, but I don't want to get a finance degree just to do it...just sayin'. Enough of that, I'm off and hopefully I'll have more pretty fro you tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ah, Memories

When I first started blogging it was for one reason alone, because the etsy forums told me to. That's the beginning I spent most of my spare time in the forums, taking advice, giving advice, wasting precious time and amassing a head full of unexpressed opinions. When I started the blog, I let them out, the opinions, in a long stream of crazy. Well, the opinions weren't necessarily crazy, the stream of them however was. I bring this up because I got a comment on an older post yesterday and that prompted me to read that post. It's from July '08 and I of course remembered it only as I read it. I was defending the art of keeping some information to yourself regarding selling crafts. The extra funny is that reading it now I see all sorts of fortune telling in it. I spoke of wanting to get more tatters, but being glad there weren't so many that I worried of being copied. Seriously, if you follow my rantings, go read Proprietary and laugh a bit at it all. It was a time before this was my business and livelihood, a time before I had been copied and most laughable a time before I had done some of the very things that I warned against doing. Apparently the lesson was forgotten after I wrote it all down. Of course now that I have read it again, I am reminded, so maybe I needed that rant to come back. Who's still funny given what has happened since.

Again, I fear I have come to you with no tatting to bear. I finished a mask and began on some more of the secret project pieces. I have the two custom necklaces to get the hardware on today and after they have arrived at their new owners home, I can reveal both of them. I did however have a tatting dream. Okay, maybe not a whole dream, but in the twilight before waking I imagined a new mask pattern. What? It happens. This one will be a split ring design which is a bit ironic given how annoyed I get at split rings...always re threading the needle and whatnot. Anyway, it will be made in a split ring design in the vein of this necklace and I think I worked most of the particulars out whilst lying in bed. Of course it could all fall apart with the thread and wire in my hand, but them's the breaks.

I'll probably give it a go later today. I should also really order supplies soon. I am horrible at keeping crystals and whatnot stocked. Heck, I just ordered business cards once I was down to like a dozen. Lucky for me they came in time. Now, I'm back to thinking about myself before this was all a business venture. Oh, how the mind set has changed. I mean, I still tat and even design because I love too, but now I need the sales and I stress the competition. What a difference that license makes. I should have gotten it right from the start, legally of course, but I guess I am glad I worked up to this. I couldn't imagine jumping in feet first and trying to be at this level...would have drowned I'm sure...would have drowned. Well, back to the tatting then.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Well, good morning Monday and March. Friday afternoon I was granted my 1000th sale on etsy by one of my most supportive customers. I have to tell you it was a spectacular feeling for about 10 whole minutes. Why only that long? Well, I am an over thinker and I almost immediately began thinking about what was next. After this mighty milestone that took nearly 4 years to reach, what do I lay my sights on? It can't be 2000, a goal that far in the future does not create the necessary pull to action to keep me moving. I'm sure I will come up with something though, sooner or later. Right now, I will just say a very sincere Thank You, to everyone who has bought a little something and all of you who have supported my work and me...Thank You.

Moving on then...I do have one more thing to look forward to this month, the 2 year anniversary of this blog...I know 'I've only been babbling for two years?' and the 1 year anniversary of the Wunderkammer blog. I have an idea for a new segment for the Wunderkammer that I need to flesh out so I can unveil it at the end of the month, but I'm not sure what I will do for the old tatting blog. I'm sure I'll think of something by the 17th.

You probably guessed that I don't have any new tatting to share. I spent the better part of the weekend finishing up the face mask that was lost in the post and working on remaking sold pieces. I even got taken away from my secret project which I need to get back to today. All this milestone business has taken me back to simpler times when I sold something maybe once a week and could spend as much time working on something new as I wanted, but then no one was expecting much from me either. Now, there are expectations from all sorts of folks not the least of which is myself. Must keep swimming. That actually brings me to another point for today.

When I started my tatting and etsy adventure, the tatting landscape was drastically different. There were very few tatters selling online and none on etsy. In that way, I have blazed a trail that is now filled with old and new tatters, some successful and some not. I truly believe I have only succeeded in that I have not given up. It sucked at first, trust me, but I had no reason to stop so I didn't. It took years to establish myself and in those years I never once worried about being copied. Those days are over. I've been copied, I've been shadowed and my ideas have been appropriated. Now the copying I can do something about, but ideas can not be copyrighted and there is little that can be done to stop the creation of knockoffs in the fashion world nor in our little world. I'm saying all this because I've not the only person that has been 'knocked off'. I want to say for me and the other folks that this happens to, that while there will be people who will always buy knock offs, there are others who will appreciate the true originals. We cannot expend too much energy worrying about what creations someone else will rip off next. We just have to keep moving forward hoping that we stay one step ahead of them. I know it can be little consolation when an idea you work so hard to bring to fruition is seemingly snatched away, but that's all I've got.

So to recap, 1000 sales, remaking lots of stuff, secret project going okay, anniversaries coming up and ripping off ideas bad, but what are ya gonna do. See you tomorrow.