Friday, April 30, 2010

At The End Of The Week

Have we already arrived at Friday? Well it wasn't exactly a whirlwind of a week, but it seemed to end rather quickly. Perhaps that's because everything interesting happened midweek, not leaving me enough time to go great things with my new toys. I did make one last beetle wing piece yesterday. This one is just my small heart with the wing case hanging from it. I know, I promise I will get those crazy amazing necklaces made up at some point. I'm a little nervous right now because I still haven't gotten a ship confirmation for my thread order and I am truly almost out of black thread. I may just have to chill on the new stuff until it arrives to keep the thread for orders. Sure, I could go out and buy some meantime...if they've restocked, but after you spend as much as I just spent on thread it seems silly to spend any more for a while.

I do of course have other thread colors I could work with, but maybe I'll just take the weekend off anyway and relax a bit. I spent a large portion of yesterday cleaning. I actually got rid of a few boxes that have been holding on since we moved in...over six months ago. There are however a whole bunch more still littering the house. I also did the great switch out of kids clothes, swapping winter for spring and summer and bagging up those that are too small. Then sighing at all the cute things they'll never wear again. Anyway, I might do some more of that this weekend rather than tat my fingers off, but who knows, I just got a request for custom wedding jewelry and that is always tempting.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

More Elytra

Another day, another elytra piece. Okay, well that's not strictly true, I had these done the day before and I actually dug through my baggie of elytra to find just two more small ones to make a couple more cameo pendants, but you already know what that looks like. So back then to the new ones. I used the same vintage pattern that I call tenebrous and first used...yeah, I don't remember, anyway, it's got the perfect structure for hanging pieces off. This time I sewed a swarovski in the center just to give it a bit more polish. I thought about tatting the elytra directing into the lace, but in the end I wanted them to hang and swing a bit so I added a jump ring to each and tatted that directly into the lace rather than hand them from picots.

I also picked this pattern because I had already devised an earring pattern to match that was also perfect from hanging bits from. I did add the crystal to the earring in the same place as the pendant and the only rough patch here was finding the perfect elytra that all matched in size and each earring has a right and a left facing one on the sides. I thought about shaping the center one so it was more symmetrical, but it's nature and I figured I'd rather let it be.

So, I suppose you might be wondering where I'm going with theses babies next. After some great comments here and on the fan page, I think there are at the very least a few souls that like what I'm doing with these, so I shall keep on for a bit. Next up I think will be a necklace, not quite a collar. I'm thinking of using the same one I used to add bells and coins to and hanging a larger amount of these instead. I know, but what about something truly new? Well, to that end I acquired a few new vintage pattern books. Nothing inspires me to new like those old ones. Of course if I'm inspired to create from scratch before they arrive great, but nothing has popped in the old head yet.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Beautiful Beetle Wing Cases

Look what came in the mail! That's right, I have my elytra and I am off and running with them. The ones I purchased were not drilled which means there shall always be one more step before I can start working with them, but as I have a cute little dremel, this is not a problem. As soon as the kids set down for a nap I drilled a few and got down to business.

I found the smallest one I could in the bag full and decided that the first piece would be a quicky. I needed some instant gratification after waiting for them to be shipped all the way from Thailand. I made up a cameo pendant and after a bit of fiddling with the head pin to hand the sucker it was done and listed. I then started immediately on a set using the Tenebrous pattern. Though it was too late for pictures last night when they were done. I'm sure I'll tell you all about them tomorrow morning. This is also nowhere near the end of what I have planned for these exotic beauties. They are colorful. lightweight and can be drilled all along their edges if I so choose. The possibilities are endless really. Though it is my way to get carried away with a new idea regardless of whether anybody else likes it at all, so if you'd like to offer up opinions of dissent, please do tell. I really ought not make a dozen elytra pieces if I really am alone in my affection.

Well, isn't this something, I finally have something new to share and the blog post is still the short. I guess that I can at least say it is sweet this time, instead of a place holder for the day. I will have at least the tenebrous set to show you tomorrow, so I can promise more new for then as well. Now off to enjoy drilling holes in beetle wing cases for a spell.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I know I said that I'd try to do better for today, but I'm a lying liar and I've got nothing much to share. Most of my day was taken over by butterflies. Yes, butterflies hatching out of their chrysalis all day long. You see my children love insects and not casually. They love them with the passion that has everyone assuming my oldest daughter's career will be entomology, but I digress. We tend to keep insects as pets, the praying mantis for instance, we currently have 4 egg cases waiting to hatch out, and we send away fro caterpillars. This year we got ten of them and, well I already told you what they were doing yesterday. There is only one left to emerge and after a few days of keeping them around, we'll release them hoping that they will stick around the area for a spell.

Aside from the great butterfly rebirth, I was just getting yet another pair of ankle corsets made up. I feels weird to be making the last pieces with this last ball of thread before I upgrade to the cebelia that I ordered this weekend. Of course I do still have to wait for that to arrive and I've yet to get a ship confirmation. I sure hop they actually had all that in stock and I don't have to wait. You would be shocked how quickly I can go through 400 yards of is mind boggling to me.

I did get my peacock seed pearls in that I ordered to go with the elytra, but those haven't arrived yet. Both packages were coming from Asia so I really didn't except them quickly, but I am anxious to get something beetle covered made. I also got an interesting business proposal yesterday. They requested a shop shipping arrangement where they would list my pieces on their sites and when an inquiry was which I assume they mean purchase, they would then pay me and I would ship to the customer. Well, it seemed like a rather convoluted system and one I would not be able to directly control. I do not keep multiples in stock of anything which is why I will not likely open a store front on any of the other hand made sites. I just don't like that many variables. What if something sells in two places at the same time? Anyway, these folks were also located in Turkey and as much as I love my customers Worldwide, I don't really want to be shipping internationally all the time, it's a pain in the neck. I guess what it really comes down to is that I don't want to do it, so I said so and then they tried again to convince me and I didn't respond. I have no idea what the financial arrangement would have been, though I assume they would want a cut or why bother and I really don't want to make less money for more frustration...I just don't see an upside. Oh, sure there's the 'It'll open up your product to a new customer base'. Fine, that is a legitimate upside, but is it weird that I still don't think it's worth it? I keep having to remind people that although I'm a fairly fast tatter, I'm still just one person making a time intensive craft and I can't handle's just not possible. I don't have a team of tatting elves chained in my attic. What I do have is two kids, one who is home schooled, a house to take care of and a host of other things that need to be done by me. So thanks for wanting me to wholesale, to drop ship, to expand my tiny empire, but I'm staying in my small storefront though I am still up for a bit of fame...that it all.

Monday, April 26, 2010

How Much Thread?

A good Monday morning to you all. While less eventful than last weekend of the sunburn and play set, this one was at least productive. I managed to not only catch up on orders but also got most of the sold pieces that I am going to remake...remade. Sunday I ran to Micheal's for more thread since last time I was there they only had one ball of black. They had not restocked. So I thought and decided to try an alternate method to maintain the ridiculous amount of black thread I require. At the end of my admittedly truncated Internet search, I found a site that offered a 15% discount when you purchased more than $150 dollars as a sort of unofficial wholesale price. They didn't have my standard thread of choice, but they did carry the better thread I only occasionally use because I haven't had a good enough reason to buy thread three times the cost. So I bought 50 balls. Yes,, I don't know where I'm going to put it all. I suppose at the very least I won't be going thread shopping for a while, a long while.

Let's see, what else this weekend? Not much I'm afraid. I went to go see the movie Kick-Ass. I had read the comic and I did enjoy the movie. A bit of the old ultra violence...the kids stayed home. Just this morning, I got another ankle corset order, so I'm back to order making, but I do plan on getting at least one completely new piece made up and I got some gorgeous pictures of my fancy mask emailed to me last night, so I think I might finally get that mask listed to sell as well. In fact, I must show one to already knew that though, 'cause you have eyes.

This one is also by Azcra Woodward who did the amazing white mask photos as well. So I want to say that's it for today and hey, a least it's better than Friday by a long shot. We'll aim for better tomorrow too, I promise.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Yes, That's All

Well I started the week with a sunburn so painful that I had to take advil just to sleep on it and I am ending it with my flesh peeling away in strips and itching like crazy.I knew I wasn't going to get anything interesting done and I haven't. I wouldn't say the week was a complete waste though. There was the cave thing and I did get all my ordered pieces tatted up. I'd love to bore you by rambling on about all the nothing I did but shop and tat yesterday, but I think rather than subject you to that I shall just stop writing. Here's to a far more productive and interesting time next week and enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I'm sitting here racking my brain to see if there is a darn thing worth sharing this morning. See, as I typed that out I remembered the single thing that was interesting yesterday, Artizen Magazine. Not so long ago the Esty Steam Team that I am a member of was contacted by someone wanting to do a steampunk themed issue of a new fine arts online magazine. She was looking for high end sellers of steampunk wares to interview. I personally stayed out of it since I find my work to be more Victorian style accessory to the movement rather than really steampunk itself. However, I was later contacted on etsy and asked for an interview and since they were certain they wanted to talk to me, I went ahead and yammered on again.

The flash based magazine can be found here, Artizen and it also contains interviews with some of my other team mates as well as several other authors, artists, links to steampunk sites and is full of multimedia links. In short, go waste some time and check it out...and not just because I'm in it, really.

Other than that little tidbit, yesterday was a lot of nose to the grindstone tatting. In fact I am almost caught up with the sold orders anyway and then it's on to the remaking portion of our agenda. It'll be nice when those beetle elytra and peacock pearls get here and I'll have an excuse to stop production mode and make something new, but they're not here yet...silly international slow shipping times. Ah, well...back to it then, go read now!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Cave Of Coolness

Well as I said yesterday, I spent a large portion of the day on the way to, in and on the way back from a large cavern. We drove through ridiculous rain that turned into slush and back into rain. We went into large cavern. Apparently said cavern is large enough to house the Statue of Liberty standing up. The five year old was freaked out, the three year old loved it. When they turned off the lights, I wanted to take a cave nap. As soon as the lights were back on the five year old raced up the hundreds of stairs to get back to the surface.When we emerged the sun was shining and we were able to have a picnic and pan for gems before the long drive home.

I did try to tat in the car, but the weather made the car ride...let's say a little too interesting to want to be holding a large needle in ones hand. So all that nose to grindstone stuff is starting today. I have two pairs of ankle corsets in line to be made and then if I get a chance, it's on to remaking a number of larger sold items. That of course is where the issue lies, not that I've sold too many things in generally, but that I've sold too many things that take at least a full day if not longer to make. So I will need days of calm to catch up. Honestly, don't want those days of calm, I want more sales. I'm greedy like that.

Oh, one bit of news for you this morning. Some of you that have been following me for some time know that I did a few articles for the Belle Armoire publications quite some time ago. I really didn't think I was qualified nor experienced enough for the honor, but I was asked and I leaped on the opportunities. I received an email when I returned yesterday, that I still need to respond to, letting me know that one of my articles from Autumn 2008 will be included in their upcoming publication, 'Hand Crafted: The Best of Stampington & Co." How nice to be included especially when I have been too busy...or lazy to submit anything in quite some time. I'm not certain when this one is published, but I will be sure to let you know, so you can at least leaf through it at Barnes and Noble. Now seriously, I will be tatting today at that is all.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Berry Chair 6000

You probably figured after yesterdays post that I would have little to share with you today and you were correct. I had a very distracted day oscillating between needed tasks and looking up the oddest things on the Internet...okay not that odd. For instance, what the heck is this plant in my front yard? Seriously, I am a Google whiz, but this thing has me beat. The leaves look a little like holly, but the berries appear to be small clusters that just started forming. No, I'm not gonna just eat one and see if I get sick?

Oh and then I went on a hunt for living room chairs. You know kind of like the ones you'd find in Starbucks, but much cheaper and with better fabric choices. This also sucked like a year of my life away. Do I NEED new chairs? No, of course not. What I NEED is to get back to tatting full speed, but no. I did get some done, but I won't have much time to do that today either as we are going on another field trip for my daughter. Today, it's the Moaning the rain. I've never been and I hope that the rain doesn't too adversely affect the trip. perhaps I can get some tatting done in the car...maybe...I get a little car sick if I focus on anything one thing too long.

I do have one small bit of news to share. As I basically let my 4th anniversary slide by without pomp, I shall too let this, but I can at least share. Over night, my shop received heart number 6000. I had been checking all day as I was hovering at 5999 and you know how much I love those round numbers. Though I could have done a giveaway or something, I again choose to merely remark on the milestone and move on. The Facebook fan page is also nearly at 700. Maybe I'll wait until that one hits and do a big 4/6000/700 celebration giveaway providing of course that I don't still feel horribly swamped. Who knows what I'll do at this point. I feel horribly unorganized regarding future events and I've still got irons in fires all over the place waiting for them to, um...become horse shoes. Yeah, I don't know where I was going with that metaphor. Let me try again, I've got a lot of balls in the air and I don't even know when most of them are going to come down. That wasn't any better, was it? I'm just going to go now.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Story Of The Weekend

Here I sit at the beginning of a new week wearing a wide assortment of scars from the weekend. What happened you ask? Why don't I start at the beginning. On Friday afternoon we took the large boxes containing the play set we bought for our children and placed them outside. We intended to create this monstrosity over the weekend. As we set out to start labeling pieces, we made a instructions. They were not online, there was no one at support until Monday. Thankfully we were able to make the hour long retrieve a copy from the store we bought the thing at. You can see how this start might not bode well for the weekend.

Early Saturday, we were up, labeling pieces and beginning construction. I was in a tank top...this was also unfortunate. As the day worn on, I applied sunscreen...too late. By the close of the day we were only just over half done despite a revolving crew of family help. I was burnt to a crisp across by chest and back and was sporting new blisters.

We awoke slightly less early on Sunday to begin again. The burn is excruciating, but we must continue as the rain is coming by Tuesday. So I put on a sweater to cover my burns and kept right on working. We paused only during the suns high point in day and finished around 6:30 or so. If you are keeping track at home, this means we worked on the thing for like 20 hours give or take. I am this morning still burnt, blistered and completely muscle sore everywhere. Oh and by the way, not my dog in the picture.

On another note, Sunday was my 4th anniversary signing up for etsy. I had planned on celebrating with pomp and circumstance. Of course I had also planned on having the play set done on Saturday. Neither of those things happened. I made a brief mention of the event on twitter and then was back outside. I apologize to everyone who expected a big sale or something. I just wasn't up to it. I guess next year better be awesome.

After all that gloom, I do have on enviable problem to share this morning. My sales have been quite brisk as of late. After a painfully slow beginning, April is shaping up to be quite the great month. So why is that a problem you ask? With the weekends adventure I have had no time to remake anything that has sold and the back log of unlisted pieces is getting unruly quickly. You know how I hate having too many pieces listed as custom. Well, I hate having so many popular pieces not listed at all even worse. This also means that I have no time for designing which means no new pieces to share with you for the foreseeable future. So this week, burnt or not, it's nose to the grindstone. Lucky for me my nose is one thing that isn't burned and the grindstone here is made of lace.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Made What Now?

Some days I know exactly how the day is going to play out from the moment I drag my carcass out if bed. Then there are the days that throw me for a loop in a good or bad way, thing falling apart all around or surprising me at every turn. Then there are days like yesterday with small but unpredictable turns. Who would have guessed yesterday morning that after I finished up the armband piece I would be making butterfly wings for a doll? Weird,right? I am so ahead of myself now, let's back up a bit shall we.

First I finished the piece we talked about yesterday. My supply of ribbon is waning, but I did have some that fir the piece well, so I got it put together and pictures of it in the evening as well. You really do have to click on the picture and look at all the others in the listing to see the sheer versatility of this piece. Any symmetrical edging that you can run a ribbon through can be used in a similar fashion making is a very worthwhile thing to make. It's a headband, a choker and an armband. I also found that since I did not sew the piece to the ribbon you can gather the lace into ruffles and wear it on your wrist as well as change out the ribbon for another color. Seriously a very useful and simple thing.

Then I got an odd request from one of my twitter friends. 'Hey can you make some black butterfly wings about 2.5/3" across?" Sure, I said I would work on it throughout the day and let her know. Of course instead I started immediately and had something to show for it less than an hour later. Once the idea is in there, it must be made. The friend as you might have already guessed is into dolls, I believe ball jointed dolls to be precise, unless I remember incorrectly then it's to be less precise. Anyway, I made the first pair in lavender just so I could count the stitches better. You recognize that vine pattern in there. Yep, an infinitely useful pattern. Of course there were several more modifications this time to give it the proper shape. They attach by just the two picots on the side making them actually capable of moving like wings. Of course the buyer has a plastic experiment she wants to try with the black ones, so we'll see how it all turns out in the end. Basically, I just wanted to share the odd turn for the day.

I had a fairly productive sales day as well yesterday, so there is more mask making in my future for today. I still have the evil sore throat with no other symptoms which still has me thinking allergies, but that doesn't make it feel any better, now does it? It does not affect my tatting at all so I'll just keep on with the lozenges I suppose. Way to end on a whiny let's see, upbeat...Have a nice day!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Simple Patterns

No. I still haven't gotten back to the wrist spat. The solution has not yet presented itself, but I leave the piece out and as soon as inspiration hits, I'll get right on it of course. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to have the most recent slow paying customer be much quicker than I thought to come back and finish the transaction. Seriously, if you're a seller and you have that non paid order and your first instinct is to get annoyed and cancel it, don't. A little good customer service is so much better because you never know when it actually is a circumstance beyond their control. Anyway, I had to finish up those pieces.

I did start something new though. This sort of thing happens often, I get asked if I can create something that I don't have listed. I respond, 'sure, it'll cost blah, blah, blah'. They think about it and for whatever reason decide that they shouldn't do that right now. These are generally people already ordering something so I rarely feel slighted. However, once the idea has entered my head, been thought about enough to warrant that 'sure' answer I can usually not let it go.

This time it was an arm band to match the Power of Voodoo mask. As you might have noticed the first row of that mask is a variation of a ridiculously common vintage pattern I personally refer to as the 'simple vine'. So, I figured sure, I'll double that up, run a ribbon through it and done. Well, I'm not done, I started late yesterday, but I know where it's going. It is actually the same pattern as my Simple Scarf that I offered up the pattern for. I mean this is really as simple as it gets, but the pattern created by the undulating chains looks so complex and I adore it. I used the same technique when I made A Victorian collar in cream yarn, only I increased the stitch count and added yet another row.

I should get that done this morning and I think I'm going to need to go ribbon shopping as my pendant sale on International tatting day severely depleted my reserves. I also have what appears, and I hope, to be an allergy sore throat that has driving me up the wall for a few days now. Oh and I ordered some peacock seed pearls to go with the beetle elytra. No, I don't have any final design plans for these green beauties, but I'm hoping they arrive when I'm in full creative mode.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yeah, So...

Don't be mad, but I totally backtracked on the new piece. I ended up undoing the last row entirely unsatisfied with the way it was coming along. Then before I could get back to it I was graced with a couple of sales. So I decided to leave the wrist spat for the time being and get a few things remade. Sometimes we really must step away from something for a bit to see it with fresh eyes.

I'm also a little stressed out by parental duties. I've been trying to potty train my freshly turned three year old. It has not been going well I'm afraid. I blame my six year old. It took me three whole days to potty train that child and she spoiled me for the future. I mistakenly thought the sisters would behave in a similar fashion. I know, I should have known better, they are of course different is a multitude of ways. I know it will happen eventually, but in the meantime I imagine I will be slightly more on edge trying not to let her sense that I'm stressed out by it.

So, you might have guessed I have nothing new to show you, but I did get into an interesting discussion online regarding tatting. I know many other people jumped in too as we were all linked to the blog post from intatters. The author was basically questioning the usefulness of tatting. Not in a dismissive way, but it was interesting to see all the responses the author received. We are quite the vocal community, supporting people to keep using it for whatever they imagine. I mention this merely as an observation, I don't really have any more commentary to add. Well maybe that I don't think we've gotten anywhere near the limit of what can be done with tatting given enough patience and imagination.

Tatted Wrist Spat

It seems every time I am asked to do an interview, I am asked to do several interviews. Sure, I seem to be asked at different times, so I say yes, thinking they will be staggered events, but what always seems to happen is that they overlap in such a way that makes me appear to be one hell of an attention hound. That is not necessarily untrue, but, well...I didn't do it on purpose anyway. So what I'm trying to say is that there is another interview with me up. This on is on the Creative Women's Network and focuses on the business aspect of my tatting world. So if you're interested in what I have to say about that sort of stuff, there you go. I must confess that there is at least one other interview that I have recently given, but I am uncertain as to when that one goes to print. I'll let you know of course and you'll mutter, 'attention hog' or something less PG under your breath.

I was still ankle corset making yesterday when I stopped all of a sudden. I had been asked in the last interview about steampunk projects and had mentioned that I might do a wrist adornment to match the recent tatted spat. I thought why not try now. Starting was fairly easy. I went with a shorter center section with thoughts of adding a row of dark gray on the top edge as well as the bottom. Now I've reached a bit of a snag. To make it fit the wrist, I could only do one row of the outside motif, so I'm adding a simple edging and I've reached the corner. So I need to figure out the nicest way to turn it. Of course, I just now looked up at the picture and I think I've got the answer.

After that I'll add the black edge, though this time it will likely have a bit more frill over the hand. As usual, I'm just making it up as I tat, so we'll see how it turns out. I also haven't decided whether it needs to be made in pairs or if a single cuff is fine. I probably won't make that decision until it's done. So, I'll work on that today and I might get a second matching convertible piece done to list and then I'll have a coordinating set to offer. Ooh, maybe a mask is next as well, though it might just have the matching shades not necessarily the design elements. I also need to remember that I will run out of the light gray and it is discontinued. I suppose if I need to, I can replace it with white in the future, but I still have a couple of balls left, so light gray for now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Things To Share

Without doing much myself, I have quite a a few little tidbits to share with you this Monday morning. On Friday, I started a formspring account. I'm not sure why I did so as I am a pretty forthcoming persona and I don't think there is much left to ask me, but it is there if you should ever want to ask me something that doesn't necessarily belong in the comments of a blog post. You can go here or there is now a link in the ring column of the blog. So far the response has been underwhelming, but it's only been a weekend. Also added to the left column of both of my blogs are 'subscribe to' links for both blog readers and email subscriptions. I actually got asked to do that on the formspring, so I had to figure it out.

Next up, I was featured in a SteamPunk Mother's Day gift guide on Lilly's Workshop blog. It's a lovely list even if the steampunk isn't your bag. Also in the feature department this weekend is an interview on the Steamed Blog. It is full of some less than run of the mill questions, so you might not have heard it all before. Also at the end of the interview is a giveaway for my original cameo pendant. They will draw winners on Friday, so get over there and enter if you're at all interested in winning one of those.

See, that was a fair bit of news and I did so very little to make any of it happen. Home school starts back up today and I am hoping the scheduled classes allow us to ease back into a bit. We're also having a bit of a rainstorm continued from yesterday to further the mood of entrapment and doom, so here's to a day full of levity.

On the tatting front, I fear I am still in production mode though my last order has not yet been paid for, I have opted to make the ankle corsets anyway. It never hurts to have more pieces ready to ship should the buyer not return soon with payment. I did order a new supply yesterday to use in my work. Jewel beetle elytra, more commonly known as wing cases. These shiny things will adorn some tatted pieces just as soon as they arrive all the way from Thailand. See, I got a pair of earrings made with them as a gift, though I was slow to warm up to them, they are amazing to wear. Lightweight, but solid and the colors are striking, they should make fine additions to some crazy collars, earrings, bracelets, heck, I'm even thinking of using them on a mask. Only time will tell if I'll gone loony or not. In the meantime, more remaking pieces and trying to get back into the creative groove. It was a nice pseudo-vacation, but it's over now.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Is Vacation Over Yet?

Here we are at the end of another week. Honestly, I have very little to show for my Spring break as a home school teacher. Did we at least get some rest? Yes, I think that we did. I think I might even be refreshed and ready to start on the last quarter of school. As far as the tatting goes, I've basically been in production mode all week. Sure, it feels less creative, but I think I took the opportunity to let that creative section of my brain have a vacation as well. The pressure to come up with a new creation or idea nearly daily does get to one eventually and you welcome the sweet simple task of just mindless making. Really, it's almost a meditation, or rather it would be were it not accompanied by the arguments of small children.

In other news, my black mask has come home to me. I should be getting some amazing photos of her in the coming weeks and then she will make her debut on the etsy. No, I don't expect to actually sell her. One can purchase a mask with a similar footprint and effect for a much smaller price tag, but I made her and she deserves to be shown off. It's funny when I was making the mask, I sworn I'd never make another like it, but I am sorely tempted to try another perhaps adding the top wire in after the tatting rather than at the beginning. Working around the top wire was the chief annoyance with the piece. Well that and all the damn sequins, but maybe number two will be sequins free. I figured I pop up a picture just in case you don't remember the mask or simply have no idea what I'm taking about.

There are no new projects boiling in my brain right now, but I am certainly open to any suggestions to get that creative brain back after break. I think I shall have one last production weekend and hope that I come up with at least something small to try out next week. Would hate to get satisfied with my current stock of designs and sit on my laurels. It's far too early for that now isn't it?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mine, All Mine

More remaking, yep that's right. I spent more time finishing a mask, making a choker and I even started on getting my headband remade. I was going to go the headband in black this time, but I was drawn back to the purple thread. Oh, how I love that purple thread. Now, I did get one new piece made yesterday. In fact I stopped mid choker to make it because I needed to make something new even if it was just a new color combination.

I know, you're thinking to yourself, 'Pam, you're wearing that in you hair! You can't sell that'. You're right and I'm not. This one is for me. Yep, mark your calenders, I made something to keep. I was thinking that I would like a flower in my hair, but haven't been able to find one I really liked to wear. The problem of course is that it needed to be in black and white so as to not interfere with the ridiculously colored hair I am always sporting. Sure, I will probably make a second one to sell, but this one is mine. What's funny is I never wear my tatting. I couldn't initially because I had babies that would pull and tear at everything making it terribly unwise. Then I suppose I was just spending so much time making things to sell and give as gifts I felt like I didn't have the time to make something for me.

Got another toy yesterday. Good old refund money has bought us our first Dyson. It's a canister vacuum that I can easily use on the stairs. Demonstrating the powerful allure of the fancy looking thing, our 5 year old kept asking if she could try it when it arrived late last evening. I hope she still feels like that when I am making her use it in a few years. Seriously though, when did tax refund money become about appliances and home improvement. I mean I'm not really complaining, I picked these things to buy, but I remember when it was video game consuls and expensive home entertainment. Now I want a vacuum cleaner and a retractable awning...damn, I think I might have become a grown up.

So there will be much vacuuming today and I just sold a pair of ankle corsets that must be made, but maybe I will squeeze in making another convertible piece so I can list one. Though the others haven't sold yet. I still like the concept of the piece, so yes I think I will make another. Only two more days of official home school vacation so i best make them count. Monday it's back to the educational grind. It's a good gig, but I have enjoyed the bit of a breather.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Like Any Other Day

I spent most of yesterday making a mask that was ordered. Boring, right? When I was finished with that one I proceeded to start on another of the same mask in order to get it listed as a ready to ship. That was my day in tatting. Yep, that was it.

In other news, I spent the afternoon babysitting one of my nieces and nephews. This of course seems a harmless endeavor, but when added to my own children becomes an insane disaster. Toy's strewn about, yelling, balloons popping. Seriously, it took me like two hours to recover from having them here. After they left, I immediately put my own down for a nap and tried to enjoy the silence.

I have however fast forwarded past the morning where most of the interesting stuff happened. First I got an email from the magazine Coilhouse complimenting my work and sharing their small business advertising program. Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds like a form letter, but trust me it was quite personalized. I have often lamented my inability to advertise my 'business' so I bit. The cost was reasonable and the magazine is run by those I consider to be the 'cool kids'. Yeah, I know my version of cool kids probably does not match yours, but I've always been a few tics from normal. So I gathered the info I needed and came up with a new tag line."Handmade lace with an edge. Cover yourself from head to toe in needle tatted jewelry and accessories." and now I wait for my bill I suppose.

I also received another email from the photographer who recently shot my white mask. She included some sneak peeks of the black mask shoot. The one simple thing I could not accomplish was to show the mask the way it looked in person. The shine of the sequins and the crystals were completely lost in my efforts. She has achieved that goal clearly without effort. I shall await both the final pictures and the masks return with bated breath and then I can actually list my most artistic piece to a ridiculous price tag, seriously you might laugh out loud at it.

Oh one last thing. yesterday I got a comment from Kelly of Tatfully Yours sharing her results with my most recent free pattern, the cameo pendant. See, now this is the reason I love offering the occasional pattern. People who love them, make them, experiment with them and I get to feel like a little part of that. She's not the only one who has shared either my twitter friend Sewicked has been playing with the pattern for a while too. So go look at their pendants and please share anything you make with my patterns with me. I do so get a kick out of it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Apparently all I needed was one solid day without any outside expectation to get my table cleared off. I knocked out the rush ordered mask in the morning and started in on the dozen pendants that were left. As nap time for the children rolled around I was ready to start adding jump rings and ribbons. After dinner I got all assembly line on the dining room table and got all of them packed and labeled, ready to ship out this morning.

Seriously, the entire day was devoted to this task. Sure, I stopped to eat and feed the kids, but as the first day of Spring break, one daughter was just inhaling Easter candy and the other had her nose in the ds playing Mario. I know, bad parenting, but I figured we all enjoy one good day of chaos now and again and it wasn't like I wasn't watching them...I just didn't do much to stop them. I am, however, done now. Vacation is still on for the week and while I promise to not be as neglectful as I was yesterday, I will certainly give them a little space because, you know what? I need a little space for a bit and it works both ways.

Now that the shop is all caught up, it's time to finish remaking some sold pieces as well as thinking up something new to list. Oooh, I almost forgot, I got an email yesterday with some pictures in it. I think I'll drop the rest of the batch of these tomorrow maybe, but notice something interesting about the mask? Yeah, it's upside down and I kind of like it like that. The pictures were shot by Renee Azcra Woodward,

She also currently has possession of my black, sequin encrusted mask to shoot that as well. I am so very gun shy when it come to photographers though. I keep emailing her all paranoid after another photographer requested pieces and then disappeared figuratively with them. I never got pictures nor my pieces back. I'm all bitter, but I'm glad I stepped out on the ledge again. I'll use these for the listing of the white mask along with it pictured right side up...I wonder if it will sell better in the new configuration? I'm back to it then.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Of Birthdays & Easter

I remember as a child, how fun holiday weekends were. Sleeping in, lots of food and candy, television and playing hard. Flash forward to adulthood and they are full of the same things...for my kids. For me, there is cleaning and decorating, more cleaning and making sure all the normal tasks get completed at the same time. There are children hopped on on candy not taking naps and whining. Add to all that the child's birthday the day before the holiday and you've got a double take of all of the above. Ooh, ooh and don't forget that that I'm still bloody sick. Ah, adulthood, everything I though it would be.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am tired, epically tired. Sure, the kids had fun and I do enjoy the time between all the tasks when I get to run and play a bit too, but man...the tasks. Anyway, my older child has this coming week off from homeschooling, though that only means I'll have a bit more time to catch up on all those pendants that didn't get made this weekend. I am really glad that I told the customers to not expect them to ship until early this week. By my fuzzy math, that gives me until Wednesday to get them in the mail, so barring any unforeseen circumstances I will not become a liar.

I come to you this morning with nothing of significance to share. I probably tatted all of an hour over the weekend and that was on a rush ordered mask. I had two other inquiries into custom masks, but I think my responded wait time might have frightened them away. Sure, I could have told them I'd have them done faster, but then I would have to give up food or sleep to get it all done and even though I love the lace, I love my sleep more. I know I am a bucket of sunshine today and you're wondering why you wasted five minutes of your life to read this. I'm sorry, really. I'll try better tomorrow.

Friday, April 2, 2010

That Was Unexpected

So, I'm sitting on the twitter, throwing out the International Tatting Day tweets, doing my part to spread the word and whatnot when I think to myself, perhaps I should offer a small deal or something. I head over to my shop, pick a pendant, make a few alterations to the listing and mark it down to three bucks. Now, let me say one thing first, In the past when I've tried this angle to boost sales, it has failed. Sure, I'd get a nibble or two, but that would be the end of it. For some unknown reason it clicked with people yesterday. Maybe it was the holiday attachment giving it a purer motif, maybe it was just the right pendant and the right price...I don't know really, but I now have over two dozen pendants to make in varying shades. Sheer number wise my best sales day ever. If I had actually been making real money off the deal, I'd be throwing a party right now. As it stands, I'm simply quite pleased that so many people will now have a bit of tatting who might not have otherwise seen it a good expense. I had quite a few brand new customers take the deal so that's new blood to the cause.

As you can imagine this little impromptu sale took most of my day though before I started it I did manage to finish the wrist corset/gauntlet piece. I might get time to take photos of that and get it listed today, though it should be quite a busy day. Me and youngest are still hanging onto the cold, I have the other daughter's face to face meeting with her teacher and I still have some floors to lean around this place in anticipation of my baby's birthday party on Saturday. Oh, and I just heard that my baby brother is coming up from San Diego to visit for a few days, which is wonderful, and he'll be staying with us, so more cleaning.

So to recap, I hope I did International Tatting Day proud with my little sale. I hope I inspired a few more people to give tatting a go or at least to recognize it as a heartily living art. I'll try to get the new piece listed, but no promises as the rest of the weekend belongs to birthdays, family and at least a dozen more In Bloom pendants.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

International Tatting Day

Yes, I'm still sick. It isn't like I have walking pneumonia or anything, but I have reached the uncontrollable bouts of coughing phase. So, super fun for me. Today is International Tatting Day. It's not an old holiday, in fact I just heard about it for the first time maybe a year ago. The premise of the event if you haven't heard is to Tat in public thus exposing the art and apparently to eat chocolate all day. Well, I'm going anywhere today, so the public part is right out, but I will eat the chocolate, tat all day and I will make mention of the day in my version of public...twitter and here. So if you've been meaning to try out tatting, today seems a right pleasant day to start. If you don't want to tat, but you have a piece to wear, go out in your tatted goodness and spread the word that way too.

Yesterday was a fairly productive day, I worked most of it on the wrist corset I want to get made up so I can list it. It's still not done, but I should have it knocked out today. I did manage to clean just like I said I wouldn't. That's right I voluntarily vacuumed three fourths of the house when I could have continued to still on my tush. No, I don't know what is wrong with me.

I did get one new piece listed yesterday. I used one of the heart patterns I recently came up with for my super secret project that I still can not reveal. I decided to tat it a bit larger with the hand dyed gray, added a swarovski crystal to the tip and gave the piece it's own long necklace. I got it listed in the afternoon and by the evening it had sold. That sort of thing happens so rarely that it was worth sharing. I will of course get another one made up as soon as I finish the wrist corset that I will likely call a gauntlet or maybe bracer.

Well, I don't think I've got anything else for you today, so go tat and eat your chocolate... oh and avoid those pesky tricks and pranks today. Here's hoping I feel better when I wake tomorrow, or at least by Saturday, yeah that would be just fine.