Friday, July 30, 2010

They're Back

The ants are back so I must be quick so I may eradicate them. Well, that's not entirely true. I can't eradicate until the kids are awake because my primary mode of death is the vacuum cleaner, so yeah.

Anyway, the resurrected piece I spoke of yesterday is now listed with some much better pictures. Seriously look though my first year worth of sold pieces and you would have pity for my lack of skills. I still have a long way to go, but I clearly got better at showcasing the tatting and making the pictures more eye catching.

Once that was done it was on to the next resurrection. I dug back through the old pages and chose a few more pieces to remake. Some of them will be redesigned entirely while keeping the same fell, while other like the Grand Daisy pieces were made exactly the same. The next one up was this bracelet I only ever made one of in bright purple thread. It used to tie on and consisted of just the motif you see here. Since I prefer to use clasps now, I added a couple of flowers to the ends weaving them in Celtic style and added the clasp to that. I remember when I did this piece the first time it was a tat it and see sort of thing.

The next piece I didn't take a picture of yet, but I used to call it my whole heart choker. I completely redesigned it as I had no pattern written down and the pictures were so unclear I couldn't count stitches. When I was done with it I received material in the mail so I went to work on the bridal veil I've been working on. I should get some pictures of the choker and finish the veil today...theoretically. Then I decided that the choker would make an adorable tatted tiara, so I'm going to make one in silver and stiffen it for that purpose as well.

Also, stop by the fan page today or this weekend as I'll be doing another giveaway there. The link is in the left column. Now, back to the ants.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Old, New, Nothing Blue

I was going to call this post flashback Friday, but then realized that it is in fact Thursday and that is not nearly as catchy so yeah. Why, you ask? Well, do you recognize the piece there? I wouldn't blame you if you didn't. For one it was nowhere near done when I took the picture and two, I stopped making it like a year ago. This piece was one of my first choker designs. The first one that was not built on an edging. I made it back in 2008 and the instructions for it were published in the Autumn issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry which I blogged about eons ago. I decided to revisit it and likely several other older pieces that would benefit from my current skill level. Meaning I really wasn't all that great then and even though I hope I'll get even better, I'm much more confident now.

Along with the way back machine up there, I also went for something new. I used one of the lapel pins with the ting at the end to tat this new design. I was basically about how many stitches I could fit around the ring and making it all up from there. This is actually the third iteration as I cut out a third layer, then thought I leave it small, then added the second row to the back layer. Funny, now that I look at it in the picture it kinda reminds me of a button. Now I remember there was someone asking for tatting that looked like a button, but who, I have no recollection. Anyway, the lapel pin is listed and the Grand Victorian Daisy choker is finished and will be getting a fresh photo shoot today and get listed as well. I might dig through my archives today and resurrect another piece, but we'll see where the day goes.

One last little piece of news to share. My first online ad is up at HauteMacabre and the lovely ladies who run the site give a brief feature to their advertisers. So that means my work was also featured there yesterday evening. So go check out the feature. The ad is toward the bottom right side and you really don't need to check that out as you're already here. The feature doubled my views for yesterday and it wasn't up until like five or something. I also received a few new twitter followers from the exposure and hopefully between that and the print ad in Coilhouse, a copy of which I have just been informed I should be getting soon so I'll post the ad page page it gets here, I should see a bit of new business. Boy all this tatting business was easier before it was a business and I actually needed the income. I'm still supremely lucky to stay home with my girls and make lace for a living, supremely lucky.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What I Learned

While I have no new tatting to share with you, I do have a confession and what I learned yesterday. First my confession...I don't read blogs. Well, that's not entirely true, I read a few blogs, inconsistently. I just don't have the time nor the inclination to scour through hundreds of blogs out of some sense of obligation or desire to network. So I read a few that I have come to enjoy and I move on. I pop by new ones when I get linked somewhere or am curious for whatever reason, but I rarely go back for a second taste either. So if you read or comment here solely for a reciprocal reaction, stop holding your breath. Why I bring this up is related to the things I learned yesterday.

I'll start with the second thing first. What I do often do is check the profile of a commenter if they are not immediately recognized and that often leads to that random blog read. I glanced through quite a few yesterday much to my delight. There are so many folks giving tatting a first go or coming back to it in part because they've seen my work and that makes me giddy with joy. There are also way more tatting blogs in existence than there were when I first began my journey...way more.

The other thing, the first thing I learned, is that you people are smart and opinionated. You didn't just randomly shout out which design you liked, you supported your opinion with detailed explanations. I assumed I'd get easy to quantify responses but instead I got points to ponder regarding what I wanted to get out of the sticker image. Just to clarify the sticker goes onto the tissue I have wrapped sold pieces in and is not intended to grab new customers, but rather as part of the packaging. That being said after reading a few comments I went out with the new image and bought my first online ad someplace where that eye catching image would make a perfect ad. It should be up soon at While I agree that consistency helps create a brand, change is often utilized to revitalize an existing brand. Even though I have only existed in this form for four years or so, there is a lot of new competition out there and I need to step it up. So, yes I will be using the new image, at least for a while.

I still have a couple of pieces in queue to be remade and listed so I will likely be working on that today. I did order more lapel pin bases so I might get to work on a second version that is based on the veil I'm working on right now, but I'm also booked for a craft tutoring lesson for my Mother in Law and her friend so we'll see how that goes and if I have any 'me' time at the end of the day.

Oh and the picture is just because I felt naked without one today. It is a super artsy shot of one of my newly adorned walls. It's like someone actually lives here now...of course the real wall is stark white, not this interesting sepia shade, that of course is all camera filter and boredom.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Which One?

As I knew it would, yesterday was simply the act of making followed by more making. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it just makes for a fairly boring blog post the next morning. I took breaks throughout the day to decorate my walls. If you've been around awhile, you might be thinking, didn't you move into your house almost a year ago? You would of course be right. Still stuck in rental mode and afraid of making the wrong decisions, we opted to do nothing and the walls of our house have been bare up until two days ago. I'm working on it little by little as I felt like this was the thing to make me feel more comfortable about having people over. Yep, the stuff on the walls are like a comfy shield of distraction from the less than Martha Stewart level house cleaning I put out.

There is one tatting related question I'd like to put before you today. Now you've likely seen this image, it is the one I have used for my package stickers since I thought that was a good's been a long time. I figured it was good to have the same image I was using as an avatar everywhere, plus I just liked the picture.

Well, I've switched avatars and I am almost out of stickers for my packages so thought maybe it was time for something new. I totally fell in love with this image. I still can't believe I did it with a phone and I thought it might be a striking ad type image and I could change to that for the sticker.

I asked twitter and they overwhelming supported the change. I asked the facebook fans and they were nearly split down the middle. When I suggested alternating with them in an effort to give the right sticker to the right audience, I was both supported and rebuked as well as they felt consistency is important. The other option is to try and turn my current avatar into an ad, but it's the stark white on the new image that made it perfect for adding text and I would have to make similar adjustments to the avatar image to make it work. I am used to the old image, but leaning toward the change. I really don't know for sure, so I am asking for your opinions as well.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hey There

Good Monday morning all...and I mean that. It was a pleasant weekend full of socializing with friends and adventuring. There was however little tatting to share aside from some making of custom pieces. I even have good news regarding the new boutonniere, the first is sold and on its way across the pond and I have been queried regarding them for a most lovely friends upcoming wedding, though I'm sworn to secrecy on identity. I am truly excited to have finally managed something for men, even if only for formal events.

The custom order I was working on was my Salome anklet as a pair with more bells. When asked if I could do more bells, I said certainly, then I looked at the lace and puzzled over where they would go. I opted to put them in the center of the motifs. I think sometimes people think you can string anything on the lace since it's fairly strong, but it's just string that holding this stuff on people. It can only hold so much weight before friction and gravity and going the warp the crap out of it. So I hope this is enough bells.

After a really slow sales month, this weekend picked up quite a bit. I'm not throwing a huge party or anything, but I am pleased and will be busy remaking sold pieces today, once the Salome anklet's mate is complete. I thought about just adding the center bells by tying them on, but I would be devastated if they were to come loose on the customer, so it's onto a pair with all bells tatted securely in.

Also, my sarcastic thanks go out to Jane, who innocently suggested that I was photographing my pieces upside down and I replied that since I don't do wrong side, right side tatting, there is no up side. She was being helpful and is a truly lovely person I'm honored to be acquainted with, but now I feel compelled to start right side tatting. So, yeah...thanks for planting that seed I couldn't ignore. Hopefully I'll get it out of my system soon and be back to not caring anymore.

Also thanks for all the ant advice. Then are generally stopped now thank to both sealing cracks and bait traps, but it's a large house and they keep returning in smaller amounts, so the traps and sealant are ready to go at a moments notice. It really is just this area I live in that appears to have been built on an extremely large sugar ant population and the incursions will likely occur ever year about this time. Sure, I could hire a bug guy, but I like all the other bugs around, so we'll handle it...won't stop me from complaining about it though.

Friday, July 23, 2010

For The Dapper Gent

Like a see saw each day this week has either been down or...we'll go with slightly up. So since Wednesday was a shining example of down, yesterday swung up a bit. The ants let up, but did not entirely stop their onslaught. The children were relatively calm in their demands and to top it all off I got my lapel pin bases in the mail.

As soon as I had those shiny bits of metal I went to work creating my first official tatted project made for men. The pad on the pin base was a bit smaller than the bobby pin, so I did need to adjust stitch counts a bit. I probably could have left off the top ring and replaces it with a bead, but I think I'll stick with the all lace version for now. Once it was finished and I was getting pictures of it for the listing I realized a slight obstacle. I have no suit upon which to pin it for a really good picture. Sure, I made due with a woman's suit jacket that I own, but my husband owns no suits.

The solution turned out to be twitter. I announced my plea for help and was directed to a dapper fellow who might be able to solve my problem. I offered to make a piece in his choice of colors in exchange for fabulous action shots of the boutonniere. A deal was struck and today I send off this lovely colored version of the piece.

The piece was also lauded by a few steampunk gentlemen who I imagine often don suits and would like such an adornment. I of course hope that this helps continue to open up my customer base a bit. The best part was making it and setting up the photos was a fun distraction and made my day. I am already planning to order more bases and perhaps come up with a second design, but I don't want to go overboard on it since slow sales have me a bit cash poor at the moment. It is so hard to balance creative enthusiasm with reality. Just take a deep breath and let it go.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

News From The Front

They came at me from several fronts and each time I stopped them I was given only a brief respite before they again advanced from another location. Back and forth we battled throughout the day and though I closed my eyes to a victory I knew they would only be back in the morning. I am of course speaking of the ants in my walls. They burst forth from cracks on both floors of the house, from the pantry, the bathroom, the loft, bedrooms and back and forth to new undiscovered cracks wearing on my already fragile sanity and all of this madness started at dawn in the pantry. I am usually a very insect friendly person, we scoot spiders outside, catch other insects as pets, but I have no love for invading armies of ants. I'm certain I will finish typing here and find them already starting in on another room so the war will continue shortly.

In tatting news what little there is of it given my six legged distractions, I did indeed start the redesign on my throat corset. I had already worked on a modified version of it for the spiked color that I just now realize I never did list as I was waiting on a photographer friend...guess I have an email to send. Anyway, I didn't make too many changes to it, but when I made the matching gauntlets here, I added split rings between the weaved sections. That is what I'm going to do for the new throat corset. It has the same feel, but more open. I modified the split chain counts a bit and I think it's set to be the right finished length, but with a piece this long, I won't know for a while especially if the ants don't lay low.

As far as retiring designs, I decided, as no one else had any opinions to share, that I would simply make those decisions as they came up for renewal on etsy. The important thing is that I've accepted that some need to rest for a spell and I'm hoping the ones I pick won't be missed. It has been a frustratingly slow sales month so I hope these moves invigorate the shop a bit. My ad in Coilhouse is out though I've not gotten my copy yet, so I haven't seen it. I have gotten one sale from that enterprise, but otherwise no indication that it has helped. I signed up for 4 issues anyway, all that repetition is key business. I keep reminding myself that it is summer and generally not a hoping month for retail, but did I mention the cat with the new thyroid condition and pills for life and periodic blood tests. Deep breath, don't mind me, rambling again from stress. If the ants stay back, I'll get some creative tatting release from the stress, so join me in cursing the ants back from whence they came.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wondering Out Loud

If you were wondering Tuesday was infinitely better than Monday. Sure nothing great happened, but nothing horrid happened either. It was a nice even day, full of basically nothing. Of course that's where it leaves me this morning, with nothing of consequence to share really.

I was going to work on the veil, but quickly determined that the plain buckram base was not going to cut it as is under the veil. It is just simply too unfinished to work, so the bride is sending me a bit of fabric from leftover from the dress to cover the base with, then it should be perfect and all I need to do is construct the piece. The picture you see here is the perfectly awful photo of me staging the bits for comparison. I think the design will be lovely once that buckram is covered of course.

The rest of the day was spent furiously tatting a second bracelet for an order. I had one made and had gotten most of the second done on Monday when I realized that since I used the Royale thread on the first and the cebelia on the second they were ever so slightly different in size. Sure both size 10 black thread, but just different enough that I felt they were not a match pair. So I opted to make another with the cebelia for a perfect match and since the order is waiting for a echeck to clear anyway, I had the time to get that done.

I was going to start remaking the throat corset that was also sold, but then I started thinking about retiring and reinventing some older pieces. There are a few I simply don't like making much anymore and I've got over 150 pieces in the shop right now, so maybe it's time to let a few go. Then there are a few like the throat corset that I think I can make better and I haven't because I'm too lazy to take new pictures of complex pieces that require me to really model them. I'm also thinking about bringing back a couple of designs that I let go of, but again think that with a bit of a redesign they can be good again like the Grand Daisy choker that got me into Belle Armoire Jewelry. Who knows how much of this rambling plan I'll actually get around to, it is only now being articulated for the first time as I write this, but I think it might be a good direction to head in for awhile. Your opinions of pieces to let go of, redesign or bring back are quite welcome. It of course does not mean I will listen to you, but external opinions are very useful in providing perspective and balance, so go right ahead, I'll get started without you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Manly Man

While the weekend was simply busy, Monday was ridiculous in every sense of the word. The children were in extreme demand mode, the ants invaded and the vet called in regards to my 14 year old cats thyroid sending me to her office for a consultation. To say it was a bad day would be incorrect, it wasn't so much bad as it was frustrating,infuriating and plain stressful. Oh and just in case I could handle the barrage that was thrown at me in perfect balance, it is also that chemically debilitating time of the month. It is a wonder we all made it out alive.

I did get the prototype boutonniere done and it did need a few additional tweaks to work. I sewed a small black ring onto the center as I had to make the center larger to cover more of the blindingly silver pad underneath. I think the pad on the lapel pin is smaller so I might have to adjust this again for the final piece. I also got pins with rings at the end instead so I'll likely try tatting around the ring for the center as well.

I had been trying to something, anything to make for men, but let's face it lace doesn't give off the manliest of vibes. However it does work for the dandy and formal occasions particularly if designed to match a corsage so here's hoping I snag a few weddings or proms next year with this idea.

I'm doing some furious tatting for a custom order right now as I got in the hat base for the wedding veil and I want to have the table clear before I work on putting that together. This was lays differently than the others I've made so I want to take it slow and get it perfect. I am actual quite glad that I've already had such different requests for these as I am definitely a learn while having to do sort of person. Sink or swim if you will. If you're wondering, I haven't always swum, there have been a few that sunk me to the bottom of the pond, but we won't get into those.

Here's hoping today stays calm, collected and upbeat. I've got work to do and I'd rather not spend the day with a stress induced headache. Thank you and good day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Good Monday

Oh my how the weekend was hot and yet we went outside anyway. I promise you'll get so such adventuring from me today. We went on Saturday to go see Inception which you must all go see as soon as possible on the largest screen possible with an empty bladder because you cannot leave the theater until it is over. If you enjoy thinking and seeing amazing things and the same time...well, just go see it. That is the whole of my movie review.

I did get something done on Friday at least. I had mentioned a new pendant idea. Well, it morphed into more of a necklace. It started as an In Bloom motif and then I turned around and rather than finish the outside row I started back the other direction weaving the chains and attaching them to the outside picots. I did this of course without planning out the attachments and it was a bit uneven though after the third go round with weaved chains it seems to have evened itself out. Of course as it's bottom heavy shape emerged it became clear that it was not going to be hanging from the center so after a bit of twitter discussion it became a necklace.

The rest of the weekend was fairly tat free. There was an artist signing at the comic book shop where we learned that someone we've had the pleasure to know for sometime now has a book on the New York Times best seller list for graphic novels. I know that's not really my brag, but still it was really neat. We stayed there for a bit too long because it was over 100 degrees outside.

Oh wait, I did start one more project. I had another customer request that I thought was interesting, though as soon as I told him how much said request would cost, he disappeared like the wind. I don't get how someone can look at my prices then ask for two things, one of which is listed with a price, and want them both for a price less than the price of the one listed if that makes sense. Anyway, I'm going to make one of the things, a boutonniere. I'm going the prototype on a bobby pin, but I have ordered up two different label pin bases. I though about putting it on a pin back, but I think it would look taking through the lace unless I added a backing and I'm all about less is more with the finishing of pieces. So I'll show you the prototype tomorrow which is based on my Corsage bracelet since that seemed quite fitting and I'll get one really done once those pins arrive.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Queen's Hand

I wanted to start off today with another thank you, this time to Gilliauna who has a lovely write up on my work on her blog, Handmade Gift and Shopping Guide. It is a very flattering piece and very much appreciated.

Now back to the tatting. First up another peek at the veil motif now all embellished and sewn together sitting on top of the silver french veiling I'll be using. I also got in the ostrich feathers I needed, but the final construction will wait until the hat base arrives. I added five crystals to the center of the silver motif in black diamond and, well actual black. I thought about adding some filament to the edges, but I think it might have a better era feel without that embellishment.

Next up is the new slave bracelet design. Now, you saw the one with an open center, but that has a very specific purpose. So once it was finished I went ahead and made another with the center and it joins the other 'Queen' pieces as the Queen's Hand. This one is very small and by that I mean it fits me like a glove. In fact I think it rather gives off more of the fingerless glove look than my other slave bracelets. I can of course adjust the length. I've been making the bracelet portion of this design so long that it has been requested in a great many lengths.

Ooh and while I was making up one of my 'In Bloom' pendants yesterday, I had an idea for another simple pendant, so I might give that a go today. I've also been stalling on remaking a sold mask since I have only made it once. I wrote down the basic pattern before I popped it in the mail, but what I honestly don't remember is the order of construction. I don't recall how I started the piece and it wasn't immediately clear upon even close inspection. I think I might have blogged some of it so I guess it's digging through the archives for me. I guess it's just a good thing I document or posterity or I'd be out of luck.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just A Slave

Okay Blogger, what is the deal? The disappearing comments stopped, but as soon as they were fixed I stopped getting email notification of comments to moderate. Sure I can see them on my dashboard, but come on, I don't spend all day checking that out and thus I can publish comments only if I happen by and that is slightly annoying. I try not to complain about free services, so this will be my only comment on the subject...fix it, please.

Yesterday was the last day of vacation, so we were out out and about soaking up the last hours of my husbands freedom. Caught Despicable Me, fun movie, took the kids on a bike ride and let them slip n slide in the back yard for a spell and yet I did manage some tatting. I got the silver and gray motifs tatted and then after I received the go ahead on the slave bracelet, I started on that.

I won't get into the particulars of the reason for the special order though I will tell you it is one of the more interesting requests. You might recognize the design already, well basically anyway. It's the Vive La Reine Motif that was also used for my Queen's Feet sandals minus the center, plus a few extra attachments to make it more stable. I though I was going to need to add something more to the center, but I still have to make the bracelet portion and I think that will solidify the upper edge and hold the center window perfectly.

This one is also being made for a larger wrist size than mine so it will require some more design changes to the usual slave bracelet wrist section and I'm still working out all the connections. It should still come to fruition today and I will also be getting the crystals sewn onto the veil motifs today, time permitting. So I should have even more tatting to share with you tomorrow.

If you don't read the blog comments, you didn't see the antique store collar being identified by Marliee, or YarnPlayer as a piece she's done before. I also got a lovely email with the same id, so thanks all. Yarnplayer left the blog link to a picture of hers and I do remember seeing it now among so many crazy detailed pieces years ago, but if you're new round these parts and haven't dug back on her blog, go look here. I am particularly jealous of the pieces on net. I want to do that so badly, but I know I won't for a million boring reasons. I guess it's off to it then, let normality commence.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Little Silver

Happy Wednesday, the week is half gone already and the husband is back to work tomorrow. I suppose that means I should try to settle back into routine again. I might complain, but honestly I love routine. It's safe and comfortable, like a fluffy blanket of predictability. Sure it's nice to get out from underneath it for a spell, but it sure is nice to come back to.

I mentioned the two projects sitting about for my attention yesterday, another veil and a new slave bracelet design. I am currently waiting for a response on the proposed idea for the slave bracelet so I went ahead and got started on the new veil. This one is an attempt to recreate the feel of another piece, but in lace with silver veiling for a longtime twitter friend. The style of the wedding was explained to me as Old Hollywood, so rather than stick with the existing motif I had created for the other veils I went a little more Art Deco with the design using my Victoriana motif and changed up the base as well.

Before you ask, I fear the iphone has made me a lazy photographer. I found a nice little editing app for it and I keep playing with it rather than get out my real camera for pictures. Sure the quality isn't that bad and it might just be a case of 'new toy', but I keep using the borders and filters on everything. It'll get out of my system eventually and I'll be back to the reliable camera and basic images, but until then forgive me my silly borders.

Back to the veil, I'll be adding an array of crystals and placing the whole thing over some ostrich feather and a few black biot feathers...I think that's what they're called. Then it's silver veiling over a teardrop shaped hat base which I am waiting on so I will get my end assembled so I can just sew them together when it arrives. I'll get more pictures as the design develops of course and as soon as I'm a go with the slave bracelet, I'll share the design idea on that one as well. Off to it then, these things won't make themselves.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I'm Back

First off, how sad is it that 5:15 in the morning is sleeping in for me? Yeah, I know right? Anyway, I am back from the cool, cool coast to the hot arid valley. I want to go back already, but I didn't tat and I didn't blog, though my new iphone at least kept me relatively in the loop. I even managed to record some things that would have just faded from memory like this collar here. I hesitate to say it is very old as it was in really good condition and very crisply white, but I hadn't seen this design floating about. No, I didn't buy it even though at $35 it was under priced, I still couldn't justify the purchase. I found this at the Cannery Row Antique mall. I've seen tatting there before and like this piece it is usually mislabeled. This one said it was most likely Irish crochet. I suppose they guessed that based on the rose motifs, but I think if you're going to sell something, at least do a bit of research or look at it a bit closer. The only other piece of tatting I came across was a very antique roll of a ring edging this time in horrible condition.

The rest of my time away was spent at the Aquarium, down on the beach and being slightly more exploratory than usual. We are creatures of habit and generally do the same exact things even on vacation, but I think we're getting stir crazy so we ventured out a bit. First we went to a park we'd seen, but never visited, the Dennis The Menace park. The kids enjoyed it and it killed an hour or so and gave us a place to pack a lunch for. We also wandered down to the beach early in the morning and got some incredible tide pool viewing.

So all in all, it was a lovely trip. The husband is still home for a few more days, so I will still be off balance likely until next week, but something a little off balance it good for a nice reset. I make no promises regarding tatting projects though I do have another bridal veil in queue and a possible request for a custom slave bracelet design so I might have something to share in the coming days, we'll have to wait and see.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Nothing For You Here

Yaaaawwn...I'm really certain I could have had a more uncomfortable sleep. The children were all relatively good during the sleepover and they slumber still, but my girls wanted me to sleep with them...on the floor. I ended up in a corner, contorted and well I can't believe I still woke up at five like usual. I also fear I have no tatting to share at all. We went to a mall out of town and out to lunch, so by the time we got home it was time to clean the house for the slumber party.

One good thing to share this morning, blogger seems to have found the missing comments and they have been published. During the issue though a couple of those kanji spam comments did leak though so after deleting them, I turned moderation back on. Then when I woke this morning I discovered more comments to moderate, but I wasn't sent an email notification of them. So clearly the issues are still being worked out and I will try to stay on top of the comments as best as I can. Speaking of comments though, I want to again say thank you for them all, they are a source of great joy, amusement, inspiration and information so do keep talking back!

I am going to attempt to get some tatting done today before we have to start packing for the annual trip to the Monterey Bay. I may be about on Monday and then again I may not. This has so far been the busiest 'vacation' that my husband has taken. We have filled everyday with something to do when usually we just sit around for a bit and relax. I think that I will need my own vacation when his is over, but am I going to get one? No, of course not, that would be silly.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Yep, see I told you I've got nothing for you. We took a trip to the zoo and when we returned I picked up that little tatted triangle and attempted to determine its purpose in life. I dug out bells and beads and crystals. I set it next to countless scraps of lace trying to find it's complimentary shape and I came up with nothing. Then as if to distract me from my failure I received an order that I could make and I abandoned that little triangle for another time with fresher eyes.

So today, you get zoo pictures. We had actually never been to this zoo even though it is only an hour from us. It was really nice. It had huge overgrown trees and bamboo, very natural looking habitats and a really cute little bird show. We managed to kill four hours inside and once the kids are out of the nap age, I imagine we could spend more time there. You'd think we'd get sick of seeing the same animals, but we go to the Monterey Aquarium at least twice a year and have done so for the last eleven years.

Today only has a little planned adventure so hopefully I'll get some creative time. Wait, just to be clear, today only has a little adventure, but this evening has far too much as we agreed to host a slumber party for all the kids cousins. That, my friends is eight children under the age of eleven, six girls and two boys. So if I don't get anything done today and you don't hear from me'll know what happened...and please send help.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I just now noticed that yesterday's post was my 600th here. I suppose it's not a major milestone, but every time I see those big round numbers I can't help but think about how much babbling that represents. Speaking of babbling...or comments anyway, the comments here seem to still be broken and a few more fell into the void yesterday. I went ahead and changed them so I'm not moderating for the time being to see if that lets them through. Why do I moderate at all, you ask? Well you might remember a bit of comment unpleasantness from a passerby who was in severe attack troll mode. Well, the was the reason I started, but I continue because of a rash of comments usually written in kanji followed by a string of ellipses that are actually links to, well let's just go with unsavory sites. So if a few of those slip by, please forgive me and I try to trash them as soon as I can.

We were in and out so much yesterday that I had little time to even think creatively and I really needed to get the order in queue done, so that was was focus. I did take a moment to try out a replacement idea for the filigree in the last necklace. I took a small triangle piece and as you can see, I tatted around the edge and added a row full of picots. When I set the piece next to the other tatted segment for the necklace I decided that it wasn't going to work for that at all. The shape is just too angular to match the rest of the design. I will, however, use this to create something else entirely. What that will be, I haven't a clue.

Today's adventure includes a trip to a nearby zoo since the kids have only been to our city zoo, which is a rescue zoo. That means it basically only has native animals that can now only live in captivity, being rehabilitated or are short it kind of sucks. So we're headed to closest one with exotic animals. This of course means tomorrows blog post is likely to be full of nothing much too interesting, though you really can never tell when something interesting to babble about might happen.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Moving On

Even though yesterday started in...well let's call it a bad place and I'm sorry to say that my words did in fact fall on deaf ears, once it settled ,I realized that what was really important here was that I had said my piece about how I feel. You can't control other people, nor can you make them see the error of their ways unless they are ready to do so and thus I'm moving on.

Karma it seems was on my side as it gave me the motivation to go right ahead and start making something new. I dipped into the grab bag again and came out with a filigree bit, added some bells and chains and here we have another one of a kind piece. I didn't finish this one straight off as we went out to the local air museum with the kids. During that trip I received a much needed sale and began to let go of all the drama I was talking about. When we got home I finished the necklace. I was mighty proud of this one as I really like using the smaller segments of tatting to combine with other elements. I think it keeps the work fresh. Anyway, karma was again kind as it sold within minutes of listing. That rarely happens so I was doubly pleased though also a little disappointed that more people won't see the piece. I will try to find a suitable piece to add to the center to recreate the same basic feel for another similar necklace.

My apologies, but it seems that blogger is having some sort of comment moderation issue and two of the comments on my last post have disappeared from the site and I seem unable to retrieve or post them. This is quite a shame because they were both wonderful. So I shall say thank you to Stephanie Grace for making me laugh and Ginabea for the poignant piece of wisdom. Both comments were well received even if no one but me got to see them.

I do have an order to make up today and then I think I'll begin the afore mentioned search for a good piece to remake yesterday's necklace or I might just try for another fresh piece. I will likely just roll with the flow today as we have more small family adventures planned and I'm looking for the joy.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I like The T

Okay, I get win. I say 'picot' all wrong. It's okay though, I've accepted it. I have decided that when I do make my introduction to needle tatting video I will clarify the correct pronunciation and continue saying it wrong because my brain is sort of stuck there. I appreciate that no one was mean nor condescending in their confirmation of my deficiency. In fact I simply appreciate knowing the answer. Being self taught means that unless the book or site tells me something implicitly, I must figure it out myself. I will just qualify the word when I say it know so people know that I know and have simply decided not to care.

I wish I had some tatting to share, but alas I got my very first iphone and it sucked my days away. Not shockingly, I also haven't had any sales since I spent far too much money on a phone. I really ought to get to designing something new to attract customer type attention. I've gotten plenty of tatting attention from the new video, but that attention doesn't pay for a ridiculously expensive phone. It does however leave me feeling very flattered by kind and encouraging comments. I have been delighted to hear shuttle tatters impressed and I do truly hope that these go a long way to helping others join the tatting ranks or at the very least understand that is not a dying art and that it is not impossible to learn.

Now to the dark, sullen side. I been feeling the inexplicable urge to complain about something here for some time, but I haven't. You see the Internet has taught me a few things. One of those things is that the world it huge and diverse and yet if you say something untoward about someone on the other side of the country they are going to hear about it. This fact has made it nigh on impossible for me to unburden myself about someone who has been upsetting me for quite some time. I also have no desire to make people chose sides and perhaps lose friends or support over it. I really do understand that just a few words from me will enough for somebody out there to figure out what I'm talking about and the drama will begin, but I am getting frustrated. It has even gotten bad enough that I have finally sent a message, which is direct confrontation and just as stressful for me as the situation itself, requiring that I be the 'mean' one. My stomach is seriously in knots and I hope with all my being that my words don't fall on deaf ears. In conclusion please, I beg you, person I am referring to...stop trying to be me...that is all.

I think I mentioned the husbands vacation from work and that begins today, so I might be a bit scarce as we adventure though I will try to keep up my daily blogging. I might schedule up some wunderkammers with links so I don't have to worry about that either, but who knows. Have a good week either way all!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fresh Video

Ha, I get another pass because I made another video. This is just my 'learn needle tatting with my flower pendant' video, but with talking again.

This may be the last video for a spell though as the husband is getting his vacation time soon and quite honestly I fear he would mock me were he stumble upon me talking to the camera. Also out of curiosity, how do *you* pronounce the word 'picot'? A different pronunciation was shared with me yesterday and more conversation on the subject resulted in a few different pronunciations along with explanations for the differences. So out of pure curiosity and no malice, I ask yours.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What Videos

So in lieu of answering all the feedback I got the day before yesterday, you just got the video, but I did in fact read all the video and tutorial suggestions. I got some for two color tatting, Victorian sets, the split rings and some more general tatting tips if you will. What I think I may do is start with an intro to needle tatting video. Basically tell folk what tools they need, where to get them, what books and sites I recommend for beginners and some finishing tips. This seemed like a good place to start, however it will require that I actually film myself talking and I might put that off until I get my hair prettied up. Yes, I know that's terribly vain of me, but I'm gonna put my face on youtube, I'm gonna look my best. Then I'll follow that up with a series of short videos with the intention of creating a little library of TotusMel tatting. No, I have no idea when you might be expecting all this to happen, but it's on the list to be created. I also don't want to over saturate the Internet with my presence so I might just drop them weeks apart for breathing room. If you have any more suggestions on what might make a useful video, please do let me know. I'm certainly not making these for me.

As far as the tatting goes, I finished making up a pair of my tatted spats even though I had already listed them as a custom piece. You see Coilhouse magazine is about to ship and my first print ad is it and that ad is a picture of those spats, so I thought it prudent to have a pair made, just in case the ad actually has an impact. Now I have heard that advertising works best upon repetition, so I actually bought four issues worth of ads hoping that the effect would take hold. So that being said, I don't really expect a huge impact from it the first go round, but better safe than sorry. I think I'm going to work on getting another Sepia piece made up today, likely the Woman bracelet and if it goes quickly I might make another up in the Black Tie colors as well to list. Oh and if you're interested I'm still running a Face Book Fan sale, the details are listed on the page.