Friday, October 29, 2010

Look At The Thread

It's bill day, so I've been terribly busy this morning and nearly forgot about the blog. Let's see first a frustration. So I emailed and emailed and waited and waited, but received no response regarding the additional shipping cost for the mask I mentioned yesterday. My stress level continued to rise as the shipping deadline neared, so I shipped it anyway. I know I really shouldn't have and I can probably kiss that $40 goodbye, but I thought about it and decided that I would rather do that than deal with the potential aftermath of doing the opposite. I tell you this story as a cautionary tale for my future self that may need to be reminded to just say no next time someone wants something overnighted. It is so not worth all the stress.

In less stressful news, I did make up one more of the new rings. I must direct your attention to the gray thread. It is magnificent. Really my favorite shade of gray thread ever, it shines and yet it is still the perfect dark color. Heather really outdid herself with this color. Now, I realize that not everyone is in love with gray so you might think me batty, but I've barely broken into the skein and I'm already thinking of ordering much more of it so I am never without it. I even want to keep the ring, but I am ridiculously rough on my hands so I would only be able to wear it on special occasions and those are very few and far between.

I'm still dealing with the aftermath of the Halloween rush, but I still don't feel compelled to start remaking masks yet. I will need to soon however as the Christmas season is fast approaching and it generally brings with it custom color and size requests and Mardi Gras mask sales follow closely behind. Better to have them done now rather than rush through them right after the holidays. Of course I am being rather presumptuous, I could get no more sales than normal and be blessed with the gift of limitless time. See, now I'm not quite sure which way I want that to go. No, I do...I really need the income, I am a capitalist pig. So, I guess to recap, don't say yes to expedited shipping, gray thread is awesome and sister likes to get paid. Now it's off to tat, Halloween and other nonsense.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vanity and Bloomers

Yesterday kick my butt. Seriously I could write a novel on all the going ons that occurred throughout the course of what what not so much a bad day as a day of...not smooth. There was the teacher meeting that went quite well and the errands to the store that followed that ate up the entire morning. When we returned home it was to an ant invasion in the kitchen and then the children went down for their nap, but didn't actually sleep. Though at this point I must confess that I completed my ankle corsets, took photos and got them listed and that was as smooth as ice. However shortly after that I though it would be okay to list my unmade mask as a custom order. I mean who is actually shopping online for Halloween at this point right? Wrong.

The mask that was not yet made was ordered and requested to be shipped overnight. So I spent a great deal of the afternoon trying to sort that. Oddly enough the same overnight shipping request would be made of another ready to ship mask right before bed. Though the second time around I already had all the answers having looked it all up. Though the first customer still has not paid for their upgraded shopping yet, so I am still stressed about shipping it this morning. Deep breath.

Then I got a note from Krystledawn on twitter letting me know that she had used the idea I came up with for my bobby pins and lapel pins on her new rings...which are adorable by the way. Then I though, why haven't I tried that on rings yet. I made a few rings on bases years ago but they were difficult to put together and I just stopped. Of course I know more now, so in a rare case of the 'me-too's' I dug out slumbering ring bases and tried a ring using the same basic design as my bobbies. The biggest difference is the inner ring I had to add to fully hide the larger silver base. I only have a few of these ring bases left, the others I have are the ones with cups meant for jewels and I'm not certain those will work with this technique. These might be good for Christmas shopping season so I'll get the other two made up I think. Or I might crawl back into bed and try to ignore any more crazy that ,might want to fling itself my way.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Strike That

Reverse it. Well, maybe not strike it, but rather put it on hold while I go an entirely different direction. I worked up the first ankle corset with a couple of minor modifications and I found the sweet spot. I took a quick phone picture, sent it to twitter and then began playing with the piece of lace while I waited for opinions. I do this a lot. When I placed the piece on my wrist, I found that it was it was perfect as a cuff. Of course I had to wrap it all around in the back, but it could be perfect. So, I abandoned the ankle corsets in favor of transforming the piece into an arm piece.

As you can see, I did just that. It took a few more adjustments to the pattern and after consulting the Internet I decided to use a couple of hooks to close it. Then when I put it on my rather small wrists, it was too big. Of course this just means it won't fit me perfectly and will likely fit many more people perfectly. Ah, but the light bulb went off again. Since I only attach hooks, not eyes and the hooks are meant to attach directly to the lace, I can simply hook further into the lace for a perfect fit.

The really great thing about this pattern, even with my scalloped edge added on, it is such a flowing and simple design that it works up much faster than some pieces half its size. So even though it looks huge, I can still charge less for it as both the cuff and the ankle corsets. The hard part is getting people to understand why this one would be less than say the In Bloom Ankle corsets that take days to make with many individual motifs. This one is made with one motif, one outer round and then the scallop and that's it.

I have a face to face conference with my daughter's teacher today, so that will eat up the morning, but after that I'll get back to the second ankle corset so I can get those finished and listed today. Though I do have an awful sandal tan that is going to make pictures a bit difficult. Then I had yet another idea for this design which I'd like to try out. Mask season is about over, though I do sell them all year round at a much slower pace, so I will get the ones that I couldn't get remade in time listed as custom pieces as well. Do you ever get the feeling that I use this blog as a planning and scheduling device? I so do. Oh and one last thing, google alerts, alerted me to this blog in English and Italian I believe featuring my work.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ankle Corset, Thy Name Is Vanity

The idea of a new ankle corset design wormed int way into my brain and would not let go so the second I was finished with the task at hand it was straight off to my stack of vintage pattern books for inspiration. This is the point where I confess that I consider myself much more of a reinvent-er than a designer on most accounts. I flip through those pages looking with a different perspective looking for something to bend to my will. I found this one fairly quickly. It's the pattern for a vanity set with a fabulously 40's description on top. I'm sad I never lived when every woman just needs a gaily designed vanity set for pleasure.

Anyway, my method for adapting these patterns is very simple. Read the stitch counts, ignore the pattern and use the pictures for structure. Follow the design exactly at least the first time. Like teacher always said, you can't break the rules until you know them. The large openness of the design made it a fairly quick piece to work up, just a couple of hours during the kids naps. Though I was tatting at should aching speed. The first prototype worked up so well size wise that the changes I'll need to do are quite small. Of course that means the changes are quite fiddly. i want to bring the design down a bit int he front filling in the sides just a bit I think.

I did try one variation already and that was simply to add a scalloped edge along the front bottom edge. While I like that it ruffled up a bit, the problem lies with the loose structure of the bottom center. Whenever I start walking the center begins to curl up a bit and won't lie back down on its own. I have started on the second version though I only got a a bit into it last night. I have a plan that I hope with give me the edge I'm looking for and if it works it will likely still have the scalloped edge as well. I like that it help differentiate the piece from my others. In the end the changes to the original pattern will be slight, only it's usage will be drastically altered. Sometimes I wonder what these ladies of the 40's would think of the blasphemy I unleash with their tried and true designs. Oh, vanity set, welcome to ankle corset.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend Recap

These weekends lately have been flying by at super sonic speed. I seem to arrive at Monday with little to show for the journey. There was Friday where I started the day with a photo shoot of the one eyed mask. It is now listed of course and I never did hear a peep from the customer who wanted a day to think about it. This has become exactly the same situation that spawned my first mask. An innocent request turned into a creative obsession that results in a piece I might never have made otherwise. Too bad in both cases the person doing the requesting disappeared. I also managed a very full day of making. I sold quite a few small pieces and spent much time getting most of them remade and listed.

Then we have Saturday which was reserved for family time. We had some family over and carved pumpkins. What is it about pumpkin that allows it to adhere to ones flesh through repeated washings? Seriously, I washed my hands so much I feared I was going to loose a layer of skin just so I could get back to tatting. Oh and I almost forgot one Friday thing. I got a message of congratulations from someone on etsy who had seen a feature on my ankle corsets over on the Craftzine blog. I had no idea it existed though I guess I would have figured it out as my shop traffic jumped considerably due to it. It's nothing too in depth, but it was linked on the front page of their site, such a wonderful surprise!

I guess that brings us to Sunday which again was spent mostly off the couch and the computer. I sold a pair of the ankle corset which I immediately relisted, so I spent a great deal of the day working on a pair. I am really burnt on masks so even though I have a few of those left to remake switching to the corsets was a nice respite from the routine. I also had some time to think and decided that not only do I need to come up with yet another ankle corset design, but I need to make a bridal pair all embellished with crystals, maybe pearls and some embroidery. I have made several pairs for brides, but I have never taken pictures of them in white nor made embellished ones. Of course then I need to get me some white shoes since I have no reason to own a pair of those. I was married in a silver dress, so nothing. Of course this is all just premature babbling as I would need sufficient time to make them anyway, but the plan has been laid. Now off into a new week full of possibilities.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Odin Is Back

I have to admit that I was a  little anxious that yesterdays post was going to either turn a few folk off or start drama, but it appears it was generally take the way it was meant. i still did not hear from the one eyed mask customer so I went ahead and made one up for the shop. It took much of the day as I did not only modify the design from the prototype, but also added a section of working over wire. If you've not done that before, it is fiddly. I changed the tip section to a much more symmetric design over the wire added crystals and extended the second row further across the face. You can scroll down to the prototype picture and see the differences.

It was completed way too late in the evening for proper photos so that's on tap for this morning. I also still need to suss out the glue attachment point though what I think I will do rather than sew something on the back is coat the back of the lace in a couple of strategic spots with a sealant so it can be glued and cleaned and is still generally soft on the skin. Then I should be able to get it listed. I might even pick up a bit of spirit gum to ship with it since it is that time of year and it is actually in every store. Of course there is also the business of a name. While I like the Odin Mask, I think I will still search those good old Labyrinth lyrics for another name. It has become my thing and why stop now.

I was also very lucky to make a good mask sale yesterday which I need to get packed up now. I will be working on getting those remade as well. I'd also like to let you know that it has been a week since I had to put my kitty Cleo down. She lived for 14 years and over 13 and half of those years she was healthy and happy. I feel rested this morning and I think I have accepted the lose with the help of the rest of my kitty family, people family and all my wonderful Internet friends. I just thought I should take a moment to again thank you for caring.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Here's To The Tatters

Large Black HeartWell, I still woke up tired today, but I woke up from a dream. This is great news as I fear my lack of rest was really a lack of REM sleep. I have no idea why of course, but that snippet of a dream this morning was very welcome news and I hope it means I'm climbing out of the hole now.

Yesterday morning started with a message from one of my very first tatting friends. Now while the contents of our discussions surrounded a really bothersome subject, I was still glad to hear from her and it reminded me of the all the wonderful people I met when I first started blogging. I started this thing at the behest of etsy folk who cried that it would help business. What actually happened was after a few months of decidedly etsy-centric posts, the tatters found me and I shifted subjects a bit and have found my happy place. Things I have learned are, if you don't want to join the tatting community, don't talk about it. Tatters are crazy for finding their own and have alerts set up to do so. Joining said community is the best thing you can do for the art and for your own sanity. No one will ever understand your new found obsession with string like they will. Being adversarial, paranoid or selfish will get you nowhere, the opposite will earn you friends, allies and trust.

I guess the point of this diversion is to thank all of you out there who support each other and understand that this art we all share is just that, something to share. Sure some of us might be trying to earn a living and some of us might just want something to do with our hands and some might have the art in their blood. We come from different backgrounds and have different stories of what led us to the needle or shuttle and an enormous, unexplainable collection of thread, but for the most part the one thing tatters seem to have in common is kindness...even if it is draped in a cloak of sweet, sweet sarcasm. So I say to those of you that are brand new to the art, join the community and thrive. To those who would say they were tatting before I was born, thanks for all the groundwork. We would be nowhere today without you hanging onto that thread and giving us something to work from. We can not forget that we are not doing something that has never been done, we are merely adding to a foundation that has been held strong.

There are a few of you who might understand why I went on this diatribe today, but it's not important and I shall not give it another thought. I have tatting to attend to and that is far more important. I still have not heard back from the one eyed mask customer so I shall assume that she has decided against it. That means that I will get one made up for the store as soon as I can. I think I might adjust the design a bit as well, particularly over the eye just so the whole ribbon over the face is...well less. I was also given some advice to add attachment points for glue on the back side so as not to gum up the lace, so I will look into adding a couple of pads of fabric or oilcloth on the underside for potential gluing. Well, off to it then and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Well, I've not much for you today I'm afraid. I ought to have split up yesterdays post as I knew I wasn't going to get anything of interest done. I still have not heard back from the one eyed mask customer so I did absolutely nothing in that arena. Instead I just got to some remaking. I have a pair of small barefoot sandals I finished and a flower garland necklace. I even got started on one of my As The World Falls Down masks, though that is far from finished. It was a basic production day. Though I must admit I'm still a bit out of it and I have been since Friday. I suppose I'm just still emotionally drained and I don't think I'm sleeping very well as I keep waking up tired.

I hope to hear from the customer today so I can know one way or the other. I also have my favorite doctor's appointment of the year later so I think I will only try to get the world mask finished. Yep, I'm just exhausted from not doing that much at all so I t ink I shall leave it here for now. There's always the chance that something incredible could happen today and tomorrows post will be full of fantastic. I would not however, hold your breath.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Odin

So I got a request on Sunday I think and I was honest and said that I wouldn't be able to guarantee its creation in time for Halloween. Then I sat down and the idea wormed its way into my brain and settled there. By Monday morning there was no way I wasn't going to at least try to make the piece regardless of the customers opinion. This is the exact same scenario that spawned my first tatted mask. Oh right, what was I asked to make? Why, a one eyed mask.

I have a background in theater so when I saw the mask I was to base the design off of, I could tell it was glued to the gals face. I tried at first to get around that even though t is still the most attractive way to wear it, by making my eye wire into an eye and over the ear wire. It worked famously until I added the tatting and then the weight was too much as I knew it would be.

The first row is the same vintage vine pattern I've used many times modified here and there to lay the best I could get it to and tatted straight onto the wire. Then I just started making stuff up. The mask I was emulating was made of lacquered Venice lace and shoots up to a point at the corner. It looks like it was really made of several pieces of the lace cobbled together so to recreate that feel with just tatting is always a challenge. You might be able to tell here that I was just tatting with no rhyme nor reason and waiting to see if it would work. I think it did, but I'm still waiting to see if the customer decides to go with it or not. Either way the mask will make an appearance in the shop and this piece will remain in my possession as the prototype because I have no idea how to write this pattern out to a satisfactory level of comprehension.

The piece was finished by wrapping the wire though I almost ran out of thread at the ear piece. Then as I wasn't certain how the idea of gluing the piece to ones face would go over I sussed out the best way to tie the piece on like an eye patch. I don't really find it the best solution, but again with  the theater background, I'm okay with gluing things to my face. The final piece will likely be embellished with crystals as the original was with sequins. I should hear back from the customer by this evening and then I'll know whether I'm remaking this immediately for her or for the shop. I don't want to start too early in case she'd like hers for the other eye. Otherwise, I still have pieces that need remaking so I get back to that task.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Huh?

As you might have imagined, the weekend was a bit of a wash, particularly Friday. We were all a bit of an emotional train wreck. For some unexplained reason I was deluged with emails that morning which I answered late in the afternoon so if I missed responding to anyone, sorry. I am also grateful for all the condolences we received over the weekend regarding our sad kitty loss. People have been very kind. We do have three other cats, but none of them are Cleo. In fact she was the undisputed matriarch and the remaining cats are currently trying to suss out the new family order. That itself is causing a bit of weirdness as they all vie for my attention, but I suppose they need a distraction as much as I do.

I have little to report on the tatting front. I've been busy working on remaking masks and whatnot. I did have a couple of interesting communications over the weekend that may lead somewhere, but I am still waiting for further responses on them so I won't talk about it any more. The only thing worse than getting my own hopes up is having to come back after things don't happen and explain that to everyone. Better to just sit on it until nothing can go wrong.

I am hoping that this week will be as uneventful as possible. I'd like to just have a nice routine week. I am still feeling a bit off and I still fear another shoe might drop somewhere, but I'm just going to stick with the 'one foot in front of the other' plan and hopefully the ground doesn't take to moving.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Originally uploaded by totusmel
My oldest kitty child had to be put to sleep this morning. I wish I could tell you how wonderful she was, but I'm fighting back tears already. I miss you Cleo.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Would Rather Be Tatting

It was a long day...a long, hot day. It began with and hour and a half walking tour of an air museum. This would have normally been lovely in October, but it seems that October has morphed into some other crazy summer month that left us walking on asphalt in increasingly warming sun. It was still nice I suppose with the picnic at the end, but there you have the whole of the morning.

Afternoon started with the children taking a nice nap when I managed to finish yet another mask and get most of the way through a necklace. The whole time I was dreading the evening though and it was fast approaching. I was also crushed to learn that one of my twitter friends had a very tragic day. Before I had left for the field trip she had tweeted that her husband had collapsed and was with paramedics. I thought about her all day and by this point in the afternoon I learned that he had died. We aren't close, but she is a wonderful and wacky personality and young. I am crushed for her and I wish her anything she needs to get through this and I hugged my husband tight when he got home.

Then I went into the belly of the beast. My mother is moving and I have been little help, but I was asked to go into her old apartment and help finish packing. I hate moving myself and last evening with do nothing to reverse that feeling. I spent hours there and feel like nothing was accomplished. I must point out now that I myself am a bit of a pack rat. I got this trait from my mother who I fear has developed into more of a hoarder and that is all the description I'm going to give. Hopefully the move is a fresh start, because I am so not doing this again.

Today should theoretically be back to routine, schooling and tatting. I've caught up with all the orders so it's just remaking at this point. I'll get that necklace finished this morning and maybe onto another mask. I think this shall be a 'whichever way the wind blows' sort of day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'm A Shark

Just in case you were concerned about the daughter's grasp of math facts, I thought I'd tell you straight away that just another day of flash cards along with a few tips and tricks seemed to have done the job. She is by no means all of a sudden a number expert, but she went from complete disaster to general competence so I count that as a win. As you can imagine that I accomplished very little in the morning as I focused on the task of math and then school became even more complicated with the construction of science...instruments. She is now studying the weather and wind and this means trips outside with things cobbled together from drinking straws, pencils and paper plates...highly scientific and time consuming.

After all the school business I was able to finish the custom convertibles and the mask I was working on and get it listed. I was also gratified and this point in the day to receive payment for my most recent order. As I started work on yet another mask I got that, 'I don't wanna be doing this anymore today' feeling. I know we have entered that three month magic zone where I can expect an uptick in sales and I will be tatting nonstop for that whole time, so I stopped. I took a break, packed the recent orders and then I cleaned. I know, I know, cleaned? Well, when you need a break you do the first thing that needs doing. Oh, but why wouldn't I just take a break and relax? Yeah, I don't do that much. Most days I'm like a shark. No, I'm not a man eating menace, I just can't stop moving or I'll drown.

Today there's a field trip to out local air museum. We've been there before of course and it is quite the walking tour. It can be lovely in the right weather, unfortunately this October is still behaving like June or July and I'm sorely tempted to bring my umbrella and rock the sun parasol look. When we return, it will be back to the masks and other recently sold goodies. I cannot get lax now, must keep up. So off to it then and sorry about the lack of pictures again.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Math Facts

Well, let's see...I spent the morning hurriedly finishing a necklace and almost the moment it was complete it was time to head up for schooling. Up to this point my child has soaked up most things fairly easily. Sure, there have been a few struggles, but we hit out first brick wall. She is suppose to be memorizing addition fact with sums up to 16 and this was the point at which she broke. She was handling up to 12 alright, but apparently 16 was a magic number and a timed test ended in complete failure. Sure it's no big deal, we just back up a bit and slow down with them. What does annoy me a bit is I don't have automatic recall on some of these. I still do the math in my head so why does she have to be all rain man with them? Oh well.

As soon as school was over I grabbed some mask wires and got to work on a mask, which by the end of the day was complete. I did take a break on it when I got my custom color order sorted. I've got two convertible pieces, one in camel and one in brown that need making. At this point, I have just the brown one to finish. I took them to a comic book shop meeting to finish and I'm sure I looked a little more off than usual, but I feel like I can't slow down on anything right now.

I'll finish up the convertibles today then start back on the masks. I also woke up to another sale lacking payment so I'm crossing my fingers that it resolves itself quickly. I used to send out a message that indicated that all orders not paid for within 3 days would be canceled and this time I sent one that shrunk that time frame down to 24 hours. I just don't have the patience anymore to wait and see, especially when a large portion of these have a complete lack of communication whether they eventually pay or not. So it's off to math boot camp today followed by mask making sweat shop...good times, good times.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend Recap

What a weekend. The sales started on Friday with a couple of masks which put me in a right pleasant mood. We headed off to the Ren Faire on Saturday knowing I had a few extra pennies to justify the trip. This is the first time we've made more than one trip over in a season and it is odd being recognized by the denizens, but we did have a lovely time.

I had been getting a bit grumpy over a recent trend of folks asking if I could somehow customize a pieces, size, color, etc., and then seemingly disappearing into the mist. Well, a couple of those reemerged and there were also more mask sales waiting when I got home. I, however couldn't get to much on Sunday as my Mother was moving and though we missed the bulk of the carrying phase, we were just in time for the assembling phase. I put together a table and chairs, started the entertainment stand, but a vital piece of hardware was missing. You know the kind that must be acquired from the manufacturer. That then was the end of my task. Of course my poor husband was left helping to cart over a refrigerator and washer and dryer, so I won't be complaining.

So that leaves me with a custom listing up waiting for payment and further instructions that I will need to get to straight away and a necklace I need to finish for shipping tomorrow. There was a veil that needed expedited shipping for a wedding this coming week, thankfully UPS is open today. Now there are also a handful of masks that need remaking. I won't re list any of them as custom until after the holiday so I don't get any 'make it now and ship it now' orders. I will try to get them remade as this is really the last week that things can reasonably be expected to ship by Halloween.

I also have a field trip for my daughter later this week not to mention her regular schooling. I suspect that I might be a bit focused on getting things done and that this headache that I woke up with is going to stay with me much of the week. I also predict a boring, picture-less blog for the week as I have no time to return to the halter top idea now. My apologies in advance.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Proving yet again that I rarely have a handle on what is going to happen in the future, I have sold just two masks this month. I know it's still early, but in the land of Internet orders there is an earlier cutoff for sales since shipping is only so reliable. So I've got maybe two weeks left of Halloween sales. I should have recalled that last year I didn't really sell all that many for Halloween either. They really do work better as Masquerade masks. Anyway, that was just a bit of a whine over spending so much time getting masks made, when I could have been doing something else I suppose.

The frilled vine piece was photographed and listed yesterday.The biggest challenge was as a convertible piece, I never know what is best to show in the first picture. It works as a headband, armband, necklace and the ruffle makes it look great all tightened up as a bracelet too. I thought it might make a great garter as well. It would if it were like twice the length. Why I always forget how much bigger around ones leg is than their neck, I'll never know. Well, it's likely because I really don't need to know. Though I suppose I could make one long enough for that purpose, but that would take forever.

The profound lack of orders on my plate meant I did get to work on the crazy halter top idea. The bottom edge is already sussed out so it was the challenge of the triangle. I am first testing out a vintage design made of small square motifs. The motif is the same one I use in my Starburst pieces. I initially connected them wrong and had to cut them apart to start again, but I not even certain they are going to work. I'm working using my own sad measurements and trying to adjust things to what might be considered normal sized. There will be little room for adjust-ability in the end design so I want it to be as average as possible. Though I not so secretly hope to be called away from the project with pressing orders to attend to, I will keep working on this one. I may have to just buckle under and design from scratch for this bit. I guess I'll just have to work up the prototypes as see how it comes together.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sexy Frilly

While I clearly have no ability to predict what the world would throw at me yesterday, I did correctly predict my own actions. Yes, I realize that predicting ones own actions is not exactly rocket science. I did ignore the tasks on hand and instead got to work on a convertible piece made to match my frilled mask. I started with the same burgundy red and made a double vine piece which is the same basic vine pattern I used on the mask doubled over. This of course was the easy part.

Next was the frill. To be honest it's all really easy parts, but this part is ridiculously time consuming. The first step here is a row of chains that hug the outside of the vine layer with picots spaced out as a base for the frill. I started with the same configuration as the mask only to realize that the difference in shape, rounded versus straight, makes a larger difference than I thought. I had to remove the first try, rework the numbers and start again. Next up was the frill. I got pretty worried as I was getting halfway done with the first side. The whole piece curled like a rainbow, but I told myself it would straighten right back with the second did.

I finished the piece too late for proper photos, but I should get to those today. I still haven't decided for certain whether I should run the ribbon through the middle or not. I most likely will as that's what makes the piece so versatile. All the frills also got me thinking about doing a big piece. See a couple of other folks have tried out the tatted panties angle, but honestly they never looked like something I could see anyone wearing. This design makes me think that a tatted bikini top however might be. With this piece frilled on one side as the bottom edge and two similarly frilled triangles atop, fully lined of course and tied in a halter fashion, it could be even comfortable. When will I have time to work out this idea? No clue, but I present it for approval and to make sure I actually try it out. Today I will have to get back to making those sold pieces I ignored, but I'll have finished pictures of this for you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Middle

I wish I could start today's post with something like, 'wow guess what happened yesterday?', but alas nothing much did. It was just a rather normal day. It started off with school for the child, then there was a quick curation of the Wunderkammer and I was straight back to sleep tatting. At least it appears to finally be turning to Autumn. Here in the land of two seasons that means that in just a few weeks it will be Winter for all intents and purposes, but at least that will mean an end to all this freezing in the morning, burning hot in the afternoon business.

I managed to get all the ordered pieces made up yesterday so all that is left is for me to press them and add a bit of hardware and ribbons and I can send them off later this afternoon. I even managed to get the bulk of another mask remade. It was the newest design, the one with the frilled edge and the whole time I was working on that frill, I was trying to suppress the urge to make a matching necklace or ooh maybe a convertible piece.'s hard to ignore that 'creative' little voice, but I still have one more bracelet that needs remaking before I can do that and I really should get one last mask made up as well.

You do realize that what is more likely to happen, I will oscillate back and forth on the idea until I finally break down and try out the new idea anyway. Then halfway through it it I will either receive an order that needs making or some other important task will pop up and I will be kicking myself as I finish the piece that I really didn't 'need' to make. I could of course be wrong about all those predictions, but you will hear about it tomorrow either way. If I do make  new piece at least I'll have a picture to share instead of all of this mindless babbling.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sleep Tatting

What I forgot to mention yesterday was the thunderstorm in the wee hours of Monday morning with a Thunder clap so loud I say explosion. You see said thunderstorm woke me at about 1 am and the light show the followed was spectacular and long lasting. What I am getting at is I had a lousy nights sleep and it there is one thing I've learned about lack of sleep it's that it carries over until you've managed to catch up. Thus, I am freaking exhausted this morning. I am certain that it didn't help that I was tatting all day yesterday on sold pieces. By the late afternoon I was resting my eyes between joins. I mean I don't 'need' them open while I'm just making stitches do I? Yes, I just admitted that I can and do tat with my eyes closed.

The other task I've been busying myself with is the cataloging of books.  My mother is moving and after years of acquiring children's books for us and her old teaching career, she is off loading them on me. I don't mind as it is a great collection for the kids, but since I am so unfamiliar with most of them and I wanted a way to know what we had, I got an app to enter them all in. While a small percentage of them scanned into my iPhone easily, the rest need to have their ISBN numbers entered manually. Yes, this is what I've been doing when I need a break from tatting. Yes, I am aware that it sounds like more work than tatting, but it's different and needs to be done as well. So far, I am 750 books in with a sizable pile left and there are more that just haven't been dropped by yet. My kids will have their own school library when this is done.

So, as you might have guessed, it's back to tatting the recent order today. It was three pieces all of which needed to be made. I have one done and I should be able to finish the second today and there is a slight chance that I'll get the third done as well or close anyway. Then I sold another mask last night that I will hurriedly get remade as the Halloween season is upon us and I have little time to take advantage of it. I guess there will be more sleep tatting today.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Wedding Mask

In a stunning bout of convenience, all the things I wanted to happen on Friday, did. In fact my supplies arrived at the same time as my Mother-in-law and she whisked away the children for lunch as I worked on the wedding mask. I managed to get it completed toward the end of the day and I must say that the white mask looks so interesting with black crystals. Once it was done to this point, I staged the mask with the feathers to share with the customer.

We were initially worried that the feathers plus the crystals would be too much, but she approved them as see in this staged shot. Since these are coque feathers, they are stripped down to the small part of feather and this allowed me to run the feathers under the thread in the back using a sewing needle. It took a bit of finesse to not pull too hard to get them place right, but it worked. Then I took some quilting filament and sewed the feathers in place carefully fanning them out. I even went back and added a small amount of fabric glue to the back to ensure that those suckers don't move. I of course then neglected to take a photo of the finished product. Hopefully the bride will feel inclined to share some when it is worn at the end of the month.

Then I had another brand new to ship this without the feathers being damaged. I have shipped other feather pieces before, but they were dense and attached to bases which kept them in a simple to wrap state. These feathers are off on their own, all showy like. I finally realized that I could place the mask in a cut down to size manila folder, then wrap it that way. It should stay flat and protected and I can still wrap it all pretty like. It will be in the mail later today and then I'm back to more custom orders. I make such an effort to keep all but a few pieces listed as ready to sell, but inevitably the few listed as custom are the ones that sell and together to boot. Of course that's why I keep them listed whether they are made or not. They are the big sellers. Just a shame that all of them are full uninterrupted day, if not multiple day projects.

One last thing for this crazy weather Monday is a fair warning that there will be a facebook deal up later today. I promised something should I get at least 900 likes/fans by today. I am however saving the big giveaway for when I hit 1000. someone told be I should stop thinking about numbers so much because it's not healthy. I agree, but they are so shiny, the numbers and I must have more of them...just not in the form of math problems, those take the shine right off.

Friday, October 1, 2010

To Donate

I finished up the mask I was working on rather early in the morning as it was the only one that does not require the final and time consuming step of wrapping the wire with thread. Then I was off to do school for the day, which as the get harder gets a bit longer each day. When that was done I returned to my thread with the familiar, 'which direction now?' question. I had mostly caught up when one of the non paying buyers transformed themselves into a paying one. Ah, something else to remake.

This is when I on twitter asking for donations for a breast cancer fund to help women while they are going through it. That's when I made this. There was no ring on it at this point, but it is a pendant. I had made a similar one for the bride I just sent the veil to, only in her veil colors to match. I added a small swarovski to the center to make it a bit more special. I had initially intended to embroider the edges, but then I could not find my black metallic filament so I let it go. This one is off to be used in an auction or sold, I'm not certain the details, but it's proceeds will be donated. I did make another, so if anyone else out there is looking for donations for this pinkest of months, shoot me a message and I'd be glad to donate the other as well.

About the same time I was caught up with this little pink flower I received an email that I had actually won the third place price in a blog giveaway. I received a credit at a very goth Lolita clothing shop which I have featured on the Wunderkammer before. I'm still on a spending moratorium, but I managed to find the perfect thing which left me only paying shipping. I got me a pair of short bloomers. Yes, I know it's a little odd, but I have always wanted a pair and they are adorable. I would have gotten a skirt, but the one I feel in love with would have cost more than I could justify even with the credit, but Yay, free bloomers! Thanks to Gloomth and the blog at for the giveaway. I am also aware that this might have been an instant karmic reward encouraging me to donate I will.

I should get in my crystals and other supplies today and if the stars align this will be around lunch time so I can get started on the wedding mask while the kids are off with Grandma and then asleep at nap. If the stars don't, then it will likely arrive around bedtime leaving me grumbly, but then I'll get it done over the weekend. I do have plenty of time to work on this one, but the final stage may be to add feathers and I want plenty of time to work out the best way to do that. I get doubly nervous when I work on wedding pieces since they should be beyond perfection and since I have yet to work with a bridezilla, I still have the desire to make that happen. So, off to it then. Have a lovely weekend and all that!