Thursday, September 30, 2010

Progress, Rant, News

If nothing else, yesterday was fairly productive. I remained in good health and my daughter also woke as if nothing was amiss. There was a particularly long homeschooling session, but the oldest didn't complain, so again productive. I finished up a couple of pieces that were pending including this convertible piece here, got packages in the mail and started on a mask late in the evening. So while not exactly a creative day, it was productive.

Now for today's short rant brought to you by people who "buy" something and then fail to pay for it. Generally this sort of nonsense occurs with new people who didn't understand that clicking the huge 'commit to buy' button was just that or they don't realize that they didn't finish by clicking through to paypal. While etsy is still saying that they are rolling out express payment, I've had two of these "sales" in as many days and they have been to people who have bought things in the past. The thing that really bugs me though is after I send out a polite reminder of their lack of payment, I get no response whatsoever. Come on people, just a short, 'sorry, I changed my mind' would do the trick, but no I'm stuck patiently waiting until three days have past to cancel the thing. I know I could cancel straight away, but when it really gets down to it, I'd rather give people the benefit of the doubt. I'm just particularly annoyed this morning thus the rant.

Now, I'm racking my brain to find anything else to share with you so I don't leave here with the taste of rant in my mouth...or I suppose more likely the smell of it on my typing fingers, but I can't think of a thing. It's bill day...that's not very upbeat and it's only Thursday so no great weekend to look forward to yet. I'm just going to work on finishing the mask today. I should have the supplies I ordered tomorrow, so I get to start on the wedding mask then. Ooh, I know a small bit of relieving news. I got word that the emergency bridal veil that I made and shipped Express to Canada made it apparently unharmed. I can't tell you the stress shipping that put me under. I wanted so badly to make certain it arrived in time for her wedding. which I hope will be the stuff of dreams!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I received my karmic reward for complaining about being too busy. As the day wore on I began feeling more and more off. Then right after the children went down for their naps, which is generally my most productive minutes of the day, I was floored by a mysterious illness. I mean this sucker wiped me out for hours. Every time I stood up I felt horrible, so I just laid there. I could only tat with the speed of a tortoise, so I stopped that too. Then when my youngest woke up, she attached herself to me at first worried about Mommy, then she started running a mystery fever too. I woke this morning feeling relatively well, so I hope my punishment is over and I hope too that the young one wakes with her fever gone as well. See, now I have lost time to make up for as well. So to the universe, I apologize for the complaints, I'd like to say it will never happen again, but that is a lie. Instead I shall attempt to keep my mouth shut and my fingers from dancing the words.

In other news, the lovely Kelly of Tatfully Yours just returned from her needle tatting teaching engagement and returned with a few pictures. I had requested them after she asked to use my Cameo pattern as a beginners project.

It is awfully surreal to see folks I don't know working with a pattern I wrote. I was assured that many of the students actually 'got' the pattern and even finished their pieces. So congrats to all the new needle tatters and to Kelly for making it though her substitute teacher gig with apparently flying colors.I also find that I want to try and teach in my area, but I fear there would be little demand, also where remains a mystery. Perhaps I should just sit on the idea for a few more years until the kids are older or somebody local actually asks me.

I hope that my health remains intact and I can get some real work finished up today. There are still many pieces that need to be remade. I also ordered up some supplies for the wedding mask and a couple of random things caught my eye whilst shopping, so if time ever slows down, I'll have some new things to play with as well.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hot and Tired

I am so very tired. I wish I could blame it all on the weather, which is ridiculous by the way, but alas it is more likely that I am tatting myself to death. Okay, perhaps that's a little overly dramatic, but I have been tatting like a crazy person for days now. Just as I packed up the large order and sent it out, I received another order with a custom piece in it. So, I had to stop with the remaking and start on that of course. Since I really want to get things make and listed, I'm working at the fastest possible speed and taking very few breaks. I assume that this pace with be the death of me, so toward the tail end of the evening I took a break.

At that calming time is when I got an email request for a wedding mask. Again, not normally a big deal, but at this point, it actually exhausted me to read the request. Sure, I'm glad to be this busy, very glad, I just didn't anticipate being this busy now. I thought if I was going to make sales, it was going to be a lot of masks and having made them already I would be in the clear. I need to really stop trying to tell the future and just roll with it.

Oh, I was apparently on the front page of etsy the middle of the night of course. This was Sunday/Monday depending on your time zone. This one resulting in many hearts for the shop, but no sales. Now I just need to see if they can feature me when the sun is out in my neck of the woods....oh, and when I'm actually home would be lovely too. Or you know, they could just make me the featured seller. Could you imagine the amount of overworked complaining I would do then? Wow, that would be awful. I would have to stop blogging to save your sanity or me from getting collectively smacked by you. So off to it for the day.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hello There

Well good morning Monday...unless of course you are reading this later in the day, in which case a simple good Monday for you. Well, my weekend was full to bursting and that is all due to one little thing that happened in the early afternoon on Friday. I was lacking any motivation to get custom pieces remade and I was trying to think of what to make next. I tossed around the idea of a circlet then stumbled upon a few of them tatted already, but before I could wonder anymore I received a large order.

How large, you ask? Well let's just say that this morning I still have to do the finishing on the pieces so that I can get them in the post later. The pieces are needed by the 9th and even if I drag my feet at this point they will get there in plenty of time. No, I am not going to drag my feet at this point. I was a tatting fool over the weekend though getting the pieces that needed making done and as soon as they are in the mail there are several pieces that now need remaking. The kicker is that none of them are small, easy to make ones. They are all ones that generally take me a full day or longer to make, so that will be basically my week long task.

I also attended the Atwater Fall Festival with the family over the weekend. It's just a small fair that they do every year one town over. The reason I bring this up is that we ran into someone we know running a handmade jewelry booth. Apparently she also has started an etsy shop, but has had no luck there. While passing on what I have learned during my tenure there I was also reminded why I do not bother to do fairs and such in this area. Really, there are so few people who get it here, it being the value of handmade goods. The Fall Festival is dripping with resellers and no one seems to want to pay more than a few bucks for anything. Our area is also at the top of unemployment and foreclosure lists, so while I'd like to be mad at them for this mentality, it is understandable. Then since I have no interest in paying booth fees and traveling to find buyers that can and will purchase handmade goods, I remain as ever solely an etsy seller.

So then, I'm off to get making for the week. If I manage to sneak in anything new and interesting between production modes, I'll be certain to let you know.

Friday, September 24, 2010

In Which I Am Annoyed By Blogger

Well, that's it...I'm done. I have officially tatted everything that needed tatting. Sure, I still have those custom pieces I keep going on about, but honestly there's no real rush on those. I had some grand plan about tatting up a whole rainbow of moths to get listed, but I only ended up with just this one. On a slightly related note, how annoying is this new blogger editor? Seriously, I can get used to a lot, but I hate not being able to re-size a photo with a simple drag it smaller motion. I have to go and edit the size in html. Yes, I am aware of how easy that is. You know what's not easy, adding a link to a picture. I can't figure that one out for the life of me. I guess I need to go look at a previous one in html and copy and paste it to make it work because you know what else, I don't speak all.

I'd like to say that was the whole of my complaining about the new blogger interface, but I simply haven't tried to do much else yet and I'm still a bit boggled over the not being able to link pictures. What I do like is the full view preview. This is particularly helpful since I have the three column thing going on and it is narrower than the previous preview so this one is actually accurate. So I guess I'm spending the morning searching for linking help and perhaps I'll just take the day off from tatting entirely. Okay, that's about as likely as me learning to rock climb, water ski and sky dive over the weekend. In case you don't know me well enough, it's not likely at all. All it takes is a few idle moments and I'll be tatting, it's just what I do.

Oh, I almost forgot, one nice little bit from early yesterday. I received a message on etsy informing me that my ankle corsets were featured on a site called Skirt as their Daily Muse. This was apparently also sent out to their users as a daily email. It didn't bring in huge numbers of views to the shop, but some and it is always wonderful to be discovered and shared. I think that about covers everything, new blogger is annoying, I've nothing to tat and I was on, that's all of it. Have a nice weekend all.

note: I figured out the link photo thing by the way...apparently I'm late to the new editor, but I still don't like it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Again I oscillate from a day with stuff to show you to one where there just isn't much new to share. Of course when you really get down to it, if I had something brand new to share everyday we'd all burn out and anything fresh would lose any luster inherent in being new. What I did do new was change the colors on the Ambrosius pendant to the the Sepia shades like I said I would yesterday. Again, I really like it in the two colors. I thought about using the variegated thread for one, but since the center is just independent rings they would likely end up being a solid color thus defeating the point.

I also toyed with the idea of using this motif as the center piece on a new mask design, but quite frankly I've made so many masks lately and sold none of them even with the impending holiday that I hesitate to go there. I know there is still plenty of time for mask sales to pick up, but I really don't want to get any further ahead of myself than I already am. I was talking on twitter about how I though perhaps I had too many items listed and that I wondered if anyone would look through eight pages of listings. I was reassured that my shop sections made my store easy to look through and no one thought it was overwhelming. Sometimes when I'm looking for a listing on the back end, where there are no sections, I think there are way too many things. I guess those sections really are good for something or do you think I should pare down my offerings?

I'm down to just a few more pieces that need to be remade and then I might get on the remaining custom pieces listed. Though I do hope that I have no time because of some amazing influx of orders. Sure, it has picked up from the beginning of the month when I feared I was going to have to resort to selling a kidney to make ends meet, but sales are still not where I'd like them to be. Yes, I am aware that if I want business to pick up, I might want to advertise or some such nonsense. I haven't had much luck in that arena since print advertising is expensive I've only tried the one and I did get a couple of sales from it, but it was a highly targeted magazine. Alright, I'm just babbling now...I know it'll pick up for the holidays so I'll just go with it, stop bothering you with this and try to be patient.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quick As A Bunny

With the pressure on, I got all the tatting on the new veil done early in the morning, sent a message with some finishing questions and then went about my required morning activities. Got the home schooling done and a few more tasks and just at the nap time I received the answers I needed to finish the piece. Sure there is really nothing too new and exciting here. I made the same motifs as my other hairpieces, but the assembly was different this time. Since I have more recently become best friends with clear quilting filament. Though I must say that stuff seems to snag on everything and its clear nature makes it harder to untangle from the veiling and whatnot. I also used a bit of craft foam as a base since I only had loose feathers on hand. Basically the bits of this were all leftovers from other pieces that fortunately went together well since I no time to order supplies. In fact this one is going out Express mail this morning along with a small token. While it is preferable to ones sanity to turn down a rushed project, I am very glad that I didn't this time. The bride is lovely and a pleasure to work with.

In other bits, while I was waiting instruction I realized that I had not yet photographed and listed the Ambrosius pendant in the two colors. I got that done just before the kids went down for their nap. I think I've said this already multiple times, but I really like the design in the two colors. You can clearly see the Templar Cross shape, which is really nice. I did make this one by tatting the center rings separately, but it can of course be done in one round using two color tatting. I however, do not love two color tatting with the needle. Heck if I were ever going to go back to the shuttle it would be for two color and single shuttle patterns. If something requires me to work with a long cut thread, I tend to avoid it as it becomes a tangled mess or attracts the unwanted attention of the cat population in my home.

Today's agenda includes worrying about the new veils trip abroad and working on a list of sold pieces that have been waiting patiently for me to get them made again. I might also get a sepia version of the Ambrosius pendant made up as well as I haven't done anything in that color scheme for a while and that is a nice quick piece. Well sounds like the day is planned then and I'm off to it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Next Project

I always feel like such a bum the day after I post a bunch of new stuff. Yesterday I had new pieces, features and well stuff to share. Today, well...I've got a bunch of nothing. Shortly after rising yesterday I realized that I had not escaped the cold that has been making it's way through the household. I was rocking the sore throat, snuffles and most annoying, the exhaustion. It was really a wonder I was able to get as much done yesterday as I did, but since it was mostly working on sold pieces I've got nothing to show you.

I do have a challenge to begin today however. A lovely lady I worked very hard with to make the perfect veil for had a bit of a setback with her dress, consequently the piece I made for her no longer matches so she needs another. The challenge lies in her wedding date fast approaching and she lives in Canada so I need to get the sucker whipped out today. I don't even want to imagine how stressful this situation is for her, but I must admit to a bit of it for my part as well. I mean that's a lot of pressure. I do enjoy working on a deadline on occasion, but the added pressure of the importance of the event really kicks it up a notch. Her new dress is a navy blue number so I've going with the same thread I used for the moths and some gray with some ostrich feathers. I've also got a little silver veiling left over. It's not enough for a true birdcage veil, but a hint of one. I think I'll use the same pattern I did before, add some crystals and we should be good to go. Yes, I am planning out the piece via blog post, but I didn't have much to say otherwise so...yeah. I'll be sure to get pictures so then I will have something new to share tomorrow.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Cross Of Ambrosius

From the cuff came forth the choker and from the choker came forth the enormous pendant. As often happens, I kept seeing other pieces that could be born from the same new pattern. Though this one was so reminiscent of something, I kept looking up other tatting on etsy to see if I had in fact seen it before. I never did find anything just like it, only pieces with a similar feel.
I also made this one up with gray rings in the center and I wore that to the Renaissance Faire on Saturday. No, I don't have any pictures. I was far too busy enjoying myself and taking pictures of the children to remember to document the outfit. The weather was perfect and even though the crowds were thick, it was a lovely day.

Speaking of lovely, when I returned home it was to a healthy sale and the news that one of my chokers was on the front page. It had sold apparently rather quickly so the views garnered from the exposure where much smaller than other times, but I will take the sale over the views and hearts.I also got the hand dyed thread from yarnplayer that I was waiting for to make a custom moth bracelet. I'm sure it's well known that I prefer to use size 10 thread. There are a lot of reasons for that, it works up quickly, the size 5 needle is stronger and I am an aggressive tatter and I've used it so long I can actually guess final size as well as the amount of thread needed at the needle end. This is size 20 and while I do use that for earrings and a few other bits, using it meant that there was more guess work on the bracelet to get it the right length. It still turned out quite well and the recipient seemed pleased with the photos. Now what to do with the rest of the pansy thread...hmmm. Not to worry, I am lucky enough this morning to have a sold collar that needs making as well as a few other pieces that need making to be listed again. I will be a busy little bee for a spell and I am pleased as punch about it.

One last thing before I go, if you are a facebook type, I have a small giveaway that is ending sometime today. Turns out I turned my brain off when I made a pair of Victoriana earrings. There is nothing wrong with them except that's not the pattern for the earrings. The chains are longer and have too many picots. Rather than go to the trouble of taking pictures so I can list the variant to sell, I'm just giving them away to someone who leaves a comment on the most recent post. I think that's it for today, we'll talk again tomorrow.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ambrosius, The Tatted Choker

I got that bracelet done yesterday, but while taking photos of it I realized that it needed another hook in the middle to survive. I suppose that's the good thing about needing to take modeled photos of a new piece. It gets gently worn and I get to see how it would handle on a person. But, Pam, you're thinking, you don't just wear all your jewelry? No, my friends, I do not. Occasionally, if I am going to a public event of some sort, I will remember a pendant or perhaps a bracelet, but most days it's just my metal earrings and my rings. Sure, I could sport a tatted ring, but I am so ridiculously rough on my hands that even my platinum wedding ring is pretty roughed up. Wow, did I just digress, I put another hook on the end and the bracelet was fine.

After using the power of twitter to name and list the bracelet, I decided I needed a matching choker, so that is what I spent the better part of the day working on. Like the bracelet only twice the length, it tatted up fairly quickly. The only exception was the fill in work of those little diamonds. Cutting and tying and hiding ends makes for tedious, time consuming work. I even thought of leaving them out, but while the design is certainly interesting, it was far too free standing or open and I fear would not have stood up to much use.

Let's see, what, I never heard back from the potential mask buyer. I shall assume that she was really trying to get the piece for free or ridiculously cheap and free advertising or not, that is not going to happen. I know most of us tat for the sheer joy and challenge, but I have bills man. I was fortunate to get a healthy sale yesterday though payment was painfully slow. In fact I only just now woke up to it. I was terrified that it was going to be yet another abandoned sale and I was getting a tad depressed. Etsy is still working on implementing an express payment system which requires payment at the time of purchase, but some sellers need the ability to charge different sales taxes based on zip code and this was apparently not anticipated. They've made the tax change so the checkout should be here soon...not soon enough, but soon.

I saw a couple more patterns hiding in the new pieces that I want to try out, so if I get a chance I'll work on that. I thankfully have a few other pieces that need to be remade now, so there is that as well. Looking forward to the weekend as the Nor Cal Renaissance Faire begins this weekend to apparently good weather, so we'll be heading there for a day. The children adore it and I need my yearly fix of strange fair food. Sadly there will be no frivolous shopping as sales are too slow to justify it, but a day out, is a day out and the people watching is top notch. Enjoy your weekend all!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Apologies

Alright, I get it...I'm an impatient schmuck. I blame the Internet. It has taught me to expect instant gratification in all things and I should know better. I am glad that folks do in fact like my little moth and so here's a much larger picture of one to help with the pattern. You should be able to click on the image and get a really big version of it. This one was tatted onto a lapel pin with a ring at the end. I simply worked the head stitches on the ring and though it was a tight fit toward the end they all fit.

I was also lucky enough yesterday to sell my eye patch, so I remade one. The whole time I was working on it though I was called by a piece of prototype scrap on the table. I knew I wanted to try something with the the pattern and as soon as I got a minute I started fiddling with the design.

It started as a bit of the pattern for my petite goth bracelet. I got rid of the individual small rings in exchange for one big one. I thought I could just keep going with the design, but I miscalculated a bit and I needed to go back and fill in the small middle diamonds. The change to the bigger rings did one great thing though, even with the fill in work, this sucker worked up really fast and with the extra decorative picots it still looks plenty detailed. I haven't even pressed it yet, but I hope to get it finished up and listed today.

We had park day for my daughters home school yesterday and the middle of the week event I fear has put an odd spin on the week. I woke up this morning with an awful headache, I assume brought on by heat or allergies, so I wish I could say I had high hopes for today, but I don't. I also had a strange evening exchange with a potential buyer for my Masquerade mask. A discount was requested in exchange for advertisement to a rather sizable Internet audience. I hemmed and hawed over it, finally offered what I was willing to knock off and after another short exchange, I still have not heard back. I really am not sure which way I wanted this to go. Sure, I would love to sell the mask, but I really don't want to compromise on price. This is that whole, if I want to be respected as an artist, I can't sell myself short and I know how much work went into it. They also inquired about just borrowing the piece, but when tatted mask meet makeup, the mask looses. With my other masks washing them is easy and the mask recovers, but this one is coated in crystals and sequins over more wire, even hand washing does not seem practical. So there is every possibility that the whole exchange will have been for naught. Though I do now feel encouraged to start on another show piece of some sort...not today, but perhaps in the let down after the holidays that's what I'll do. I will of course let you know if it goes the other way and where it has gone, should it go and now I think I shall go.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I had hoped for more response from the pattern yesterday, but I suppose the little moth is not nearly as useful as some of my other patterns so I'll let it go. Here's a peek at what I just recently did with the moth though. I am still waiting for more thread to do the other custom one for the customer, but this one is done save for the hardware. The lack of interest does however give me an excuse to not bother with all the other bits I was going to bother with. Sure, I really didn't need an excuse, but now that I have one I'll take it.

I have little else to report as me day was spent getting that last mask made. Now all the masks listed in the shop are made and ready to ship should my sales actually pick up, which I give them permission to do...any time now. Once I was finished with that I made a list of the remaining pieces in the shop that are listed as custom. There were 7 out out 175, so not too bad. My current goal is to get those all made and ready to ship as well. They are all larger pieces, but if I do manage to get them all made the next step is to start making seconds of the most popular pieces. I'm not certain how I will determine that since it changes all the time, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Oh, I do have one other thing I've been meaning to share. Next time you're in the book store head the lifestyle magazine section and flip through a copy of Gothic Beauty. Look for the article on RockLove, page 6 and 7 and take a close look at the earrings and ring on the model. Yep, they're my tatting silver. Those are the tenebrous earrings and my simple Celtic weave ring. No, I don't know when the collection is due to actually launch, but when I find out I'll let you know. If you're not heading to the book store, you can spy the image here on her blog as well.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Free Luna Moth Pattern

You know all that stuff I said I might get to today? I know you're terribly shocked to learn that I did none of it, not a bit. I think I just faded into a zone where I had nothing that really 'needed' cleaning or doing. My motivation to work was completely used up I suppose and I needed a recharge day. Lucky for you though I had already written out the moth pattern and I already had some pictures so here we go.

Tatted Luna Moth Pattern

Some words before we begin. I used size 10 thread and a size 5 needle. On the body portion of the moth I employed the use of reverse/downward facing/inward picots. There are a lot of names for the technique and you can find a simple diagram of them from Jane as a pdf here. They are formed by using the first half of the double stitch twice adding the picot and then using the second half of the double stitch twice. The pattern as I wrote it does not expand into this, just know that the last ds before and the first after the downward picot are formed this way. Also when the downward facing picots are joined to, you will need to pull your stitches off the needle being careful to leave the loop at the beginning of the ring to join to at the end. Joining to the downward picots is simply pulling the needle through them, do not tie, but keep working stitches. When you join close the ring everything should pull together just fine. You may of course omit the inward facing picots entirely and make the body round, but I think it looks nicer the other way.

One more note before I let you have the pattern, To make the wings symmetrical, I started both at the top and tatted the second backwards. I honestly have no idea what the proper term for that is and didn't make an effort to go look. All this means to me, is that I started each chain section with the second half of a ds, reduced the number of full stitches by one and ended each section with the first half of a ds. I found doing this let the wings lay better. Having tried it without doing this as well, there is little difference expect to the perfectionist I suppose so you don't 'need' to do this either. I think that's all the notes I have for you so on we go.

Large moth

r - 4ds 1 long picot(antenna) 4ds close, do not turn
r - 1ds 1small picot 2ds 1 small picot 2ds inward picot, 2ds inward picot 2ds picot 2ds join to reverse picot, 2ds join to reverse picot 2ds small picot, 2ds small picot 1ds close, tie and cut.

Cut antenna in two.

join thread to top small picot on body ch - 20ds close rw ch 7ds close rw ch 2ds 1p 7ds join to next small picot on body do not reverse. ch 7ds join to picot on last chain 7ds close rw, ch 5ds 1p 5ds close rw, chain 7ds join to last picot 15ds join to same picot on body.

repeat for second wing.

You can choose to omit the inward facing picots making a simple r of 1-2-6-6-2-1. This will make for a rounder body though.

Please do let me know if I've made any glaring mistakes so I might fix them and as always this pattern is for personal use or offline sale only. There is of course a small chance that I will add the small moth variation as well as that video of the downward facing picots at some point. I would however not hold your breath. Today, I have one mask left to finish and thank the gods I made a couple of sakes yesterday so I will be getting a couple of things remade as well. You have no idea how much more motivated I am during the day when I have sales to take care of or pieces to remake. Sure,I can survive on the energy between especially when I'm designing, but only for so long before that malaise I described above kicks in. One last note, if you are facebook sort of people, I will be having yet another giveaway and a Halloween sale through my fan page if and only if I manage to increase my fan/like numbers to 1000. I know it's gimmicky, but no numbers no giveaway. There are over 125 left to get, so again no breath holding, but I thought I'd give you a heads up. The link to the page is on the left of the blog.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What Babe?

Let's see, what did I do on Friday? Well I did finish up the mask that sold, though it never was paid for and I had to cancel the sale and watch my sales numbers run backwards. Anything else? No, I believe that was the whole of Friday.

I did get some time to work on the new mask design that has been worming through my brain for a spell on Saturday. It started with the same 'babe with the power' base. I opted for burgundy with this one partly because I had it out from the last mask and partly because, well it looks good with black. Then came the tricky bit, making the frill.

I used the same basic technique as this bracelet. You should be able to see what I did there, but making it up as I went, it's just one long chain attached to the picots below it where the chain is one stitch longer between each picot. This formed a fairly consistent ruffle. In fact it turns out the really tricky bit was pressing the mask face without killing the natural freedom of the edge, but I have developed a fairly light touch over the last few years, so it worked out in the end. The mask is fairly reminiscent of frilly panties honestly so it earned the Labyrinth lyric, 'What Babe?' and is now listed. I think it was the last mask idea left in the brain for now, so here's hoping I actually sell some of them this year. It's not looking so good right now.

After that one was listed, I have only two more masks listed that have to be made, so I started on one of those. Then I got a request for a Luna Moth bracelet from someone who had seen the moth creation. She wanted some variegated thread, so I ordered up the one she wanted and I'll need to wait for that to arrive before I make it up. Then she also asked for one in sepia tones, so I did get to work on that one. Unfortunately I took no pictures last night when it was completed. On the fortunately side though, I did finally write down the pattern for the large moth and will be getting it up for you as a free pattern tomorrow. If I get enough free time I will also get down the small variation and have that up as well. If I get tons of time and more motivation, I might get it up as an Instructable complete with a video on how to do the inward facing picot I used. That however is not really all that likely as I still have school to do along with a ton of other little things, but I do promise the pattern anyway. That, I think, is the whole of the blog for today.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Smallest You Can Think Of

I just spent the last ten minutes all confused because yesterdays post was dated for Wednesday and I wondered where yesterdays post had gone. Then I realized that it was yesterdays post, but because I had started writing it the night before it dated it that day which is very confusing since I definitely posted it yesterday. Clearly I am not awake enough to deal with these inconsistencies so I'm just going to move on now.

Unfortunately, I don't really have much to show you. I spent the morning after schooling working on a pattern to shrink the moth I had made for a wedding. I was actually quite impressed with myself as my very first attempt seemed right on the money. This is just the prototype next to prototype of the moth on the lapel pin. I just guessed the new stitch count as I worked instead of attempting something as horrid as moth and save for one added stitch along the top wing the final piece was exactly the same. One of the mall moths was also put on a pin which means I just tatted the head onto the small ring.

After that I spent the rest of the tatting day getting a mask made. One sold during my stint on the front page of etsy but has yet to be paid for. I know I should not bother making it as it has already been over a day and I've heard nothing back, but it was a good excuse to get another mask on the 'ready to ship' list so I soldier on. I'll get the moths ready to list and ship this morning and hopefully finish up the mask so I can get the new idea tried out before I forget all about it. I wanted to try and put a frilly edge on the most recent design using the same technique I use in one of my bracelets only a little more extreme. Not sure how frilly will fly, but I want to try it out anyway. No other pressing plans this weekend other than a neighbors birthday party to attend so maybe I'll get around to some interesting something and some point. That was sure a lot of 'some' I just wrote there, but you get the idea. I'm rambling and I should just stop now so, well...I will.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Strike A Pose

Okay, first off how it is not Friday yet? It feels like it's suppose to be Friday and yet here we are on a Thursday. What good is a bloody Thursday anyway? Apparently its good for complaining about, but I digress. I got yet another little treat from my Google alerts yesterday, there was a nice little post about me on Craft Gossip's jewelry page which is new for me. I have of course graced the needlework page repeatedly with various free patterns and tutorials, but the jewelry mention was quite pleasantly unexpected. Thanks to Stacie Hooder for the nice write up, I really appreciate it!

I did get photos done of the gray and black mask as well. I opted for modeled ones since someone I know is creeped out my mannequin heads...she knows who she is. I do admit they look better worn, but sometimes I am just feeling too lazy to get dolled up and make faces at the camera. I mean there is a good reason I never had a modeling career, okay many good reasons. I shudder at the thought of someone walking by and looking in the window as I pose like this. Sure folks say the pictures turn out okay, but I still feel like a bit of a fool taking them.
I slacked off for most of the remains of the day, but I did do a little custom work. I was asked if the new moths could be made onto a lapel pin so that the original commissioner could get a few more like that, so I tatted a moth to a pin. As I remarked on twitter, it was a bit like an entomology experiment and thankfully a relatively successful one. I'll be working on adjusting the pattern to a smaller size today as well as putting more moths on sticks. I'm also still mulling over another mask pattern though honestly I hope the shop picks up soon so I won't have time to work on more. Well more so I have actual sales, but six of one right?

One last bit for today that could have been posted yesterday had it happened then. Apparently I made the front page of etsy with this treasury at 1 am est. I was of course fast asleep and I didn't even get the usual instant link at facebook so if it hadn't been for the handful of congratulatory messages I received at etsy I would not have known at all. Lucky for me craftcult takes screenshot so I can pretend I saw it and this is what it looked like.Crossing my fingers that this wasn't the last of the season as I have been getting a crap load of 'you're in my treasury' messages from sellers as they put together all the Halloween lists. Again not a huge boon to sales or anything, but even in the middle of my night I received more than 60 new heart or people favoriting my shop. So thanks etsy for the bit of love...keep it up!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Look At Me!

Well, I might not have gotten much of significance done yesterday, but that doesn't mean I have nothing to share. First up on today's 'look at me' post is the Steam Tuesday feature at Overbury Ink. Every Tuesday, Nancy puts up a feature on a different artisan that focuses on Steampunk or NeoVictorian art and promotes the post all day long on twitter. I was lucky enough to be chosen for this weeks feature and it is up here.

Next up also from the 'look at me' files is a tiny little bit of etsy's front page. Rotating near the top of the page are links to different features. Each time you visit the page or refresh the images change up, but are a small number of repeating images. Currently one of those is a link to Halloween treasuries and thanks to Azcra Woodward's amazing picture with the perfect aspect ratio, my Crystal Moon mask is one of those images. A hearty thank you to dbvictoria for letting me know and catching this screen shot for me or wouldn't have known at all. You can of course try to catch it like I did by refreshing the front page of etsy until it shows up, but I have no idea how long it will be in rotation. The only sad part is that while the image is credited as my item, there is no link to me from it so it is unlikely to bring me any direct traffic safe from those who look me up after seeing it and even then I will have no idea where they came from.In other news, I did get the new brown and red mask named, 'In Absence Of The Sun' and listed and began work on another in gray and black.I almost started a brand new design, but smacked myself a few times and settled on just making an existing design in the chosen shades. Well that's how it started anyway. I was going to just make the Babe With The Power Mask, but as I started the second round with the black thread I decided to change it to more of an outline and now we have yet another mask design albeit very similar to the other. Fortune smiled on me though as a name for this one was easy to shall be 'You Remind Me Of The Babe' since it will indeed remind you of the other mask. I should get it photographed today and its creation has spawned a few other ideas as well. I shall throw them against the wall and see which ones stick.

More New Masks

I must be quick this morning as I was rudely interrupted this morning by yet another ant invasion. I know I haven't mentioned those lately, but they have been almost a daily occurrence though much smaller than the last couple of days where they appear to have 'reloaded'.

Anyway, here's the whole view of the, no I am not going to make more this colorful' mask. That being said I do think that more like the blue mask are a possibility. They have more of solid color feel that is more my style and will allow me to show that there are more colors available. There are plenty of other artisans that can keep the colorful jewelry market covered, so I don't think I'll go there either.

The last bit for today is yet another mask. This one is a new pattern based on the flower garland necklace. It doesn't lay flat on the face on the top half, but I still like it just fine. The color palette was inspired by a facebook comment for autumn colors so this one is brown with a russet red outline. I should theoretically get this one listed today, but it doesn't even have a name yet. My little brother and his fiance are visiting from San Diego and since yesterday was a holiday, I got so very little done. It's back to schooling today and maybe a little routine, so I might accomplish that which I plan to, but it's all up to chance.

Monday, September 6, 2010

In Color

I can't believe how little venting was shared with me on Friday. Am I the only bitter, evil person left? No, that's can't be. The only one without the tact to keep their mouth shut? Now we know that's not true. I suppose it doesn't matter, it made me feel better and that was the point anyway.

Now onto better things, yes tatting things. You might not realize that I have acquired a rather large stash of thread. Okay, you probably realize that, but what you don't is that much of it is in colors. Sure, most of them were acquired to create a custom order, but then I just started buying them, 'just in case' knowing full well that my customers would really have no idea that there were so many colorful options hiding from them because I always go back to black. I adore black thread and the lace that it makes. Anyway, I used some colors this weekend while mask making.

First up here is my 'Between the Stars' mask. I made this one with the and dyed thread that was too bright for the wedding project. It is a gorgeous thread dyed by Heather and it has just the slightest hint of purple giving it much depth. Then I added the black border to frame it better. This one is listed already, but this next one should go up later today and it is the real shocking one too which why you only get a glimpse. I thought when I made "A Land Serene' that it would look nice as a colorful, let's say flower fairy type piece. So that is what I did. Yep this sucker is made with pale yellow flower centers follows by some bright fuchsia flora and finished with hand dyed green. There is no all. In fact while I was making it my husband remarked, 'what is that?'. I replied, 'A Flower fairy mask?' he responded with, 'Is it for Regretsy?' Yeah, that's how out of character this is, but the kids liked it. It will be listed, but if it doesn't sell, I'll use it to donate to my nieces school.

There is even one more after these that I have yet to finish. This one is a new pattern based on the flower garland necklace and is in brown and red for a harvest fall sort of look. Sure, I might do a few more shades as sales are at a stand still and I seem to have time, but don't go expecting the shop to brighten up too much. I have always been and will always be much more fond of the darkness. When I wear color, people worry, but I'm allowed a little 'phase' once n a while right? Besides it's for Halloween and that's about being something a little different than you are, so that's my excuse.

Friday, September 3, 2010


It was another long day, but much less eventful. I would even go so far as to say it was a calm and fairly pleasant day. In fact one of the first things I stumbled upon was a blog post by a lovely twitter fashion friend that featured my fancy mask. The blog is Awakened Aesthetic and post was on etsy Halloween finds. What was better than the inclusion was the very sweet thing she said about my work and while I don't know that I'm all that, it was still truly fabulous to hear. I also stole one of her picks for a future Wunderkammer collection so win win.

Before I stared on the long process of getting masks made, I went ahead and made up some matching tenebrous earrings. Then I though, I should make up more matching earrings for existing choker designs. The first was an absolute success meant to match the flower garland necklace. As you can see, it was a simple case of add a couple of chains and a ring, but it tuned the design into a really interesting chandelier type piece. That was so easy I decided for another and was meant with utter defeat. This is when I stopped for the day. So, it turns out some designs do not in fact lend themselves to this sort of motif separation and enhancement. Some designs only work well as part of a whole. This fact has been noted and I will attempt to merely echo the shape for matching earrings the next time I give it a go.

Now to end the week, I'd like to list off a few things that have bothered me this week, you know just to get them out there not to attack anyone in particular. Ahem...people who send emails asking questions, then require you to authenticate yourself in order to respond...I am not going to do it, sorry. People who court drama for the sake of attention rather than intelligent discourse. Self thinks the lady doth protest too much. Justification seems to only applied when one knows one is doing something wrong. People who 'lol' at their own posts, this one is two fold as I generally dislike the acronyms in the first place and secondly, it is exactly the same as loudly laughing at your own jokes which, unless you are in fact hilarious, is annoying. Putting someone on your mailing list without asking. This will have only one effect, I will unsubscribe, ignore your content and if I know you from elsewhere like twitter, I will likely block you there to. I'm fairly certain all that is the opposite of your intent. And last for now, people who ask a question or request a custom order, receive a swift and lengthy response from me and don't even bother with a no thank you or acknowledgment of any kind. Feel free to add your own annoyances if you'd like...might be fun to vent together.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It Wasn't A Monday?

About halfway through the day I started calling it sneak attack Monday. Why? Well it clearly wasn't a Monday and yet I was bombarded with tasks that usually greet me on the first day of the week. There were multi front and multi stage ant invasions, there was unexpected laundry and lots of it. There was accounting, dishes and cat issues and I could go on, but I shall not.

I did get some tatting accomplished amid all the chaos and unrule. I finished up the black version of the new necklace design and did the finishing work on the gray set as well. I think if I get a chance I'll make up the same earrings in black without embellishment as well. I also do want to get the bracelet design I came up with listed as well. They might come second though as I have two masks I want to get made up and my Mother-In-Law has requested another to be donated to my nieces school for a raffle. I don't really like committing the larger pieces for these things as they take so much time and particularly since it is mask season and I shall likely be making a ton of them in the coming months, but it's family.

I almost lost my other thought for the morning. I came up with a small change to the Wunderkammer to give me a bit of a break. I am going to shift the posting from Tuesday to Saturday and instead of doing an etsy list on Saturday, it will start as just a single image I run across at Flickr. It takes little effort to do that and in this weeks post I will also be asking people to shoot me links. Since there is little risk of the images disappearing I can stock pile them and schedule them to post whenever needed. In fact if I get enough good ones I can add Monday back into rotation with a picture book-ending the week painlessly with eye candy. If it goes well, it might lead to a few more changes I'm thinking about, though the bulk of the blog will stay the same true to its original purpose. Now, it's off to it then.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ah, September

Well that will teach me to get all picture happy...not a single comment on the new designs nor the grand pile of wedding goodness. I see how it is. Of course with my personal track record of rarely if ever commenting on anything I read, I really ought not be judging. I have no real reason for not doing so either, just not compelled I suppose. See now you have to resist commenting about how you didn't comment because of my keenly laid guilt trap. No, really, it's fine...I know you're out there either way.

Yesterday was a busy day, just not tatting busy. I had the first meeting of the year with my daughters teacher in the morning. Since this is our second year, it was all very much review and reminders. It did however push the days schooling back to after lunch and my child does not function her best after noon. We rushed through and got what needed to be done, done and then they napped. I rushed to do the finishing work on the pile of wedding stuff. Turned the moths into pendants and cleaned up some bits on the boutonnieres. I learned that a little clear quilting filament is perfect for invisibly sewing together bits that didn't want to behave during tatting. I think it is my new favorite hidden tool.

I need to get the finishing done on the gray tenebrous pieces today and get some good pictures to send the future owner before I ship those out. I did start working on a black choker with the new pattern so hopefully I'll get that finished and listed as well. I also ought to get working on masks again. I wanted to keep them in stock for Halloween, but there are apparently a fair amount of Masquerade weddings coming up. It is actually a little odd how many late summer and early fall wedding there are this year...or rather ones that I am aware of or providing jewelry to anyway. I suppose it's likely no more than usually, it is only my awareness of them that's changed.

So, that's pictures or amazing insight. Nothing else I can think of to say except have a nice day!