Friday, April 29, 2011

The Week Is Ended

T'was another mostly tatting free day. I did manage to get schooling done and then there were countless errands to run and odd little yard tasks. I do have to say that the weather here was so lovely that despite allergies I was quite happy to be outside much of the day.

Let's see what I have to share...not much I'm afraid. My large order package is moving speedily across the world and seems to have gotten very close to its destination. No, I will not stop worrying about it until it's delivered and no longer my responsibility. I still haven't heard from the customer who sent back a necklace without any note. Part of me wants to just ask, the other part, who has a stated return policy that was clearly not followed, wants to just do nothing because the rules are there for a reason. However, I am not a particularly patient person, so we'll see how long I last.

The family is headed off on some more adventures today, nothing huge, just shopping really. Again, this likely means little tatting time for me, but before I go, I do have one picture to share with you. The husband was doing the front lawn when he heard the familiar cries of baby birds on our roof. He discovered these two chicks, one precariously perched on the roof and the other already in the rain gutter. We moved the roof one in as well to prevent disaster as we'd found a dead chick the other day on the sidewalk, but didn't know where it had come from. The nest looks like it's actually up in the second story eaves, so the birds must have fallen and rolled. Mama bird is still about, so hopefully, they'll be safe where they are until they are ready to fledge.

That's it for me this week. There have been some interesting tatting ideas brewing in my brain that I haven't gotten to try out so maybe next week they will emerge and I'll have some precious tatting to share.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

On Zoos And Regret

Another lovely, but exhausting day. It was sunny and breezy and really a perfect day to be outside at the zoo all day. I know I've been to the San Diego zoo, but it was so long ago I barely remember a thing, so this is by far the nicest zoo I have in memory. It's full of large overgrown plants and most of the enclosures are open, large and full of native plants as well. It is a good thing we all took an allergy pill before leaving though. There is also nothing like being in the audience of a bird show with at least three different elementary or preschool groups to make me truly appreciate how well behaved my own are. I mean, they are still kids and thus slightly insane, but they listen to directions, sit quietly and watch the show.

Anyway, we did get back fairly early in the day, even a good zoo can only occupy the kids for so many hours at a time. I finished remaking a couple of things and obsessively tracked my large order package. It did get stalled because of weather in the mid-west yesterday, but it appears to be moving again.

Oh, man I almost forgot to tell you. So yesterday morning after I wrote the blog post, I was looking through my shop traffic numbers and there was a big spike on Tuesday. I look to see where it's coming from and it's...regresty...crap. It was a direct link so I go there and it was a feature on another tatter's 'bridal' mask. The listing was likely chosen for a couple of reasons, a badly spelled name and description and for the mere idea of wearing a mask to ones wedding. The normal ha, ha mocking started and there were also several defenders of her spelling noting that English is not her first language as well as defense of tatting itself. Apparently there was also a troll battle in the comment thread as well. None of that is my point however as someone linked to my shop in the comments to mock mostly my 'cheesy masks' and my barefoot sandals. Again there was some mocking and some defending. It can get downright cruel over there sometimes though generally the things posted mock themselves. This was the closest I'd ever come to being featured and it really wasn't all that bad. We all have different tastes and sometimes we don't get who would wear or use something we wouldn't. I mean, I don't wear barefoot sandals, but they sell well to belly dancers and for beach weddings, so why not. Here's hoping that this remains the closet I ever come to regretsy fame though.

I'm not sure what today has in store, we've no big plans. Probably schooling, errand running and maybe some cleaning, though honestly I am just ridiculously sore and tired after all that walking about and then sitting in a car for hours Monday and yesterday, so I might fight the cleaning bit and curl up like this porcupine fellow. We'll just see how it goes and roll with it I guess.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Am Less Whiny Today

Wow, I just read back yesterdays post and I really ought not write when I have a headache. I was terribly whiny and I apologize for that. In the future I will take something for the headache prior to subjecting anyone to my thoughts. We were back to schooling yesterday and I'm glad to say there was little complaint from the child. Husband is home all week, so she knew she had to get it done quickly and quietly if she wanted to go adventuring. After school I took that planned trip to UPS and I'll tell you, it's actually scarier when everything seems to go well and quickly. I fear I will be on pins and needles until that thing arrives at its destination and with the back weather back east, that will take slightly longer than anticipated.

I did finally get the old needle and thread back out and finished up a custom awareness bracelet. This time in gray with a dark purple ribbon. I'm still pretty proud of that ribbon design idea, but I did fail to snap a picture and I already packed it up. I also sold a couple of things yesterday that will want to be remade and I got started on those. I didn't get much done though because we did adventure much of the day. There was a picnic and playing in the park. Then we went to a plant nursery to look for a tree. There is one in our neighbors yard, but we had no idea what it was, then it flowered and we wanted one even more and after much google searching, I finally ran across it yesterday and we went on the hunt to get one. Of course like all the trees we take to, people in the gardening forums had much horrible to say about it being invasive and whatnot. We bought it anyway. Oh, it's a purple robe locust tree. Apparently it's very fast growing, has gorgeous purple flower clusters in the Spring and despite the small thorns should provide excellent shade for the kids jungle gym thing in the backyard. There was more errand running and kids car washing after that as well.

Today's adventures include a trip to the Fresno Zoo which is about an hour from here. Our own local zoo is a small rescue zoo and though we do visit it often, the Fresno one is much nicer. So it's off to that then. I'd say that I would work in the car, but I didn't on the way to Monterey and it's doubtful I will today. Of course this will be a shorter trip so perhaps after we get home I will still have time to get some things made up. Oh, also one small cryptic update on the secret project. I should be able to share either way next Friday. So in a week and some change both you and I will know the outcome. You know what I hate? Not knowing whether I should be excited or not because I still have no idea if my contribution to the project was even actually used. Deep breath...and relax and on with the day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I think I have reached a point beyond tired this morning. The trip to the coast was lovely, but man, where do the kids get all that energy? We've been to the aquarium scads of times so we almost let them just take us where they want to go as we follow behind. Then there was the beach, the Dennis The Menace park trip and finally the running wild through Casa de Fruta on the way home. I figured at some point they'd choose rest, but no. Only in the car on the way home did either of them catch a nap and even then it was brief. There is a reason we make this a three day long trip in the summer, packing it all into one day is exhausting and no, I got no tatting done.

Today I've got a whole Monday worth of work to catch up on. I have the giveaway necklaces to mail, my large order to get posted which will require a trip to UPS to ask for help and a special order I received yesterday needs to be made. Also, it's back to the regular home school schedule again too. We're in the home stretch with about a month and a half left so I really can't lollygag on that either. Oh and of course I skipped one day on dishes, laundry and other miscellaneous household chores. You know what I miss? When vacation days were actually vacations and didn't create more work for me. Being the grown up is occasionally just a pain. Speaking of pain, I've got a headache already this morning, so I'm going to go takes something and get on with my day.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Tat Free Weekend

Yep, I was right, it was an incredibly busy weekend. I didn't tat a single thing the last two days, not a thing. On Saturday the family headed to Lowe's to build birdhouses and we picked up free trees and planted those when we got home. There was a trip to the comic book shop and then because we were bad parents a stealth trip to acquire Easter goodies all by myself while the rest of the family napped. Remind me never to do that was a mad house. When the kids got up it was egg decorating with a bug kit. Never mind that no one is going to eat those eggs. The day ended with video games and sweet sleep.

We decided to do Sunday with just the four of us instead of the whole big family thing. This had its up moments and its down ones...those are the ones I got blamed for. Still, there was candy and an egg hunt, much video game playing and some movie watching. The weather wasn't very good, so that's why we stayed in most of the day. I made my first ham and though it actually took longer in our convection oven than I anticipated, it turned out pretty good. Also, I swear this picture was not a posed shot. I walked into the room and the cat had apparently crawled right into the basket and made himself at home. How could I not share that?

So today, we're headed over to the ocean for a quick day trip. I might tat in the car, but just because I think I'm going through withdrawals. I also have a few odd situations going on that have kept me awfully distracted. First there's the large order that finally got paid for and will get shipped tomorrow that is inducing shipping based paranoia. Then there is the piece that got returned to me in the mail on Friday. It was placed into a second envelope and mailed back with no note or explanation. I've gotten no emails or convos asking for a refund or exchange and I do have a clearly posted return policy which does not include an automatic full refund and requests contact first. So, you can image that I'm a bit unsure how to proceed here. I think I'm just going to sit on my hands for a few days and see if I hear anything. I just don't understand why one would send something back without first inquiring as to whether that was okay. Anyway, off to the ocean then and I'll talk at you again tomorrow.

Friday, April 22, 2011


The winners have been chosen. That's right I went with a winner for each color selection. The winners were: Jessy for the sepia and geekdetails for the black!!!

The winners have already been contacted and I will be sending the necklaces out early next week since I still have to make them.

Thank you all for entering, following, liking and generally supporting me and my work!

Tatted and Chained Shoulder Jewelry

Here's what's sad about yesterday morning. I had put in a request for a tech to fix my TV online the evening before. I assumed after the horrible reviews of their service I'd read everywhere that I wouldn't get said tech, but I did. He was on time, fast, friendly and efficient. Our problem was fixed in about an hour and I was horrifyingly shocked by this. What's sad is that the state of customer service is so bad that him just showing up impressed me. I think some of the problem may just be the that the loudest voices are usually those complaining which skews the available information their way. If you're happy, you don't blog about it or post in do that when you're mad. So for the record, AT&T Uverse customer service was wonderful here and I am still glad to be their customer.

Now back to stuff you care about, tatting. and my newest piece of shoulder jewelry. Yesterday I just needed to get some chain lengths right and I though I might add some crystals to the piece, but decided against it after much staring and stalling. Without embellishment, the piece is fully reversible to either shoulder saving me from asking which they'd like and changing the chains to clasp in the right place. I also got much help from twitter working out a name for the piece. There was some suggestion that I call it an epaulet, but I'm not really fond of that work and it just makes me thing of gold fringed shoulder pads, so I went with shoulder adornment instead.

The piece clasps around the neck and it's just the weight of the chains that holds it in place. I wouldn't jump about or run with it on and expect it to stay, but it behaved fairly well as I just walked around the house and did the photo shoot with it. It can also be worn as a long and over the top necklace. My husband says it looks very 'final fantasy', like magic shoulder armor which makes me want to do one with more coverage, like a cup over the shoulder. If I get around to that one, it will likely be the one to get all the embellishments, but who knows when that will happen. I promised myself I would actually get a few pieces remade this morning and as you might guess this weekend is already a bit booked with family activities so tatting is on the back burner.

Thanks again for all the giveaway entries I will be choosing the winner later this morning and I will post another blog entry with that info as soon as I have it. It's quite a list to work through so I definitely wasn't going to get it done at 5 in the morning. I guess that's it for now.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


What a wonky day. Boo, the cat was dropped off early for his dental work and I already had my nephew over as well. Honestly watching him is a breeze since he just plays with the girls which makes watching my own kids a bit easier, but it does keep me a bit more distracted as I try to pay more attention to where they all are and what they're up to. An extra kid usually means an extra mess and my kids doing things they wouldn't usually do alone.

I completely meant to remake a bracelet in the morning, but instead I decided to play with old patterns. I found a hanky edging that held promise, so I dissected it, rewrote a few bits and added a few others to come up with a new earring. I hung these ones from hoops instead of hooks because I'd had a customer request hoops. She has gauged piercings and hoops are easier to wear. Of course that customer disappeared before making a purchase, but I liked the idea of the different option so I got some hoops with my last supply order.

Then I spent much of the afternoon attempting different ideas and failing miserably. Nothing was working at all. It might have been distraction due to cat surgery, which went fine by the way, though ended up costing even more with 5 teeth being pulled. I wish I could say we'd be brushing all the cats teeth from now on, though we might try, I really don't see that working out well particularly with the older cats. I really do like my fingers in an uninjured state.

Toward the end of my babysitting duties, when I knew the cat was fine, I finally had an idea to revive the shoulder jewelry concept. I scrapped the original as it was not going to work at all. It was, my friends, full of fail. I decided to go the chain route and I think I almost have a working piece. It's a bit over the top, but wearable. I might try to get some photos today, but the at&t TV guy might also be coming to do something about our picture issues. I have loved uverse since we got it when we bought the house almost two years ago, but lately it's started freezing and pix-elating and the sound pops. It's awful and the online support said our problem requires a technician, so I scheduled one online for this morning. I will honestly be surprised if one shows up because that would be too easy, but if my TV doesn't return to me soon with a smooth watchable picture, I will get hostile.

So, I suppose I have no idea how today will play either. I had hoped the homeschooling break would have been more of a break for me, but I might have expected a little too much. Just two days left and not much to show for it. I guess that's life. You still have one last day to get entry comments on Tuesdays giveaway post. They're are quite a few, but I know there are more of you out there to enter. I'll likely choose a winner Friday afternoon so I time to count the entries and get them all properly numbered for the drawing. Thanks again for helping me celebrate.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Day After

I'd like to start off with a big Thank You! for all the entries in the giveaway yesterday full of very nice things. You do still have a few more days to enter in the comments of yesterdays post if you missed it. Yesterday was a sort of up, sort of down day. I of course had jury duty and for the very first time ever we were dismissed after only an hour or so of waiting about. Every other time I have gone it has stolen days of my life without ever actually making it onto a jury. So, I suppose that was both a down and then an up. Then I got another down as one of the older cats had been getting whiny as of late and we were finally allowed to discover that his teeth were is a sad state. Since I was out of jury duty and the kids still had grandma watching them, I took Boo to the vet. He had a fever and as suspected he had a few bad teeth giving him issues. The vet assures me that everything should theoretically be fine after he has some teeth pulled today...but I don't even want to tell you how much that is going to cost us...yikes. Yes, I know we should have been cleaning the cats teeth, but I also know that's not likely to happen. The other cats are of course all currently annoyed at me as I cannot feed them until I've taken Boo to the vet and that's not for a few hours yet. It's going to be one of those days.

In other news, I had one new necklace that I didn't get to show you yesterday because I opted for the whole giveaway to be the focus of the post. This is another sepia version piece made with one of my new necklace designs. Interestingly, I had to use one more repeat of the pattern to get the brown version the same length as the black. I've always been a bit boggled by the slight difference in thread size due to dye. It's really obvious with some thread, but really difficult to explain to people when they want the same design in different colors and one piece is slightly larger. Anyway, I digress, like the other sepia piece I used brass toned seed beads along the bottom edge, but this one also has the adjustable clasp so it can sit lower on ones neck.

So I drop off the cat later this morning for his dental work and I am watching my oldest nephew today since he's out of school for the week and too old to go to the babysitter his siblings go to. I don't know how much of anything else I'll be able to get done with just those two events, but I do have one bracelet to remake and I'd like to play with some other vintage patterns and see if there are any other designs waiting to emerge. I guess we'll just have to see how the day goes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy 5th Etsyversary To Me!

That's right, five years ago today I signed up on etsy. I had no idea how this single event would shape the years following it. That act is responsible for my growth as a tatter, a designer and my current persistent Internet existence. I know many people have strong opinions about the site particularly as of late, but I've got nothing but love. You might also know that I just passed my third year blogging here as well as the second birthday of the Wunderkammer.

So, I hemmed and hawed about what to do in celebration of this anniversary since I barely acknowledged the others. Even as I write this I'm still making up my mind. You may feel free to send gifts of course, but these sort of milestones are generally celebrated with gifts to you, the friends and fans. I do wish I had spent more time working this up...let's see, how about a small one day discount? Sure, I can do that. All day April 19th, you can use the code '(code expired)' to receive a 20% discount. That doesn't seem like quite enough does it?

How about a giveaway then? I don't have the time or energy to maintain a big one so I'll give away just one of my newest necklace designs. You can enter to win the black or sepia version of the Studded Flower necklace.

How? Well, for one entry just leave a comment with the color you'd like to win. For another entry, 'like' my facebook fan page. For one more, follow me on twitter & tweet the giveaway and last one 'heart' my shop on etsy and tell me what your favorite piece is. Just to keep things simple, you can leave one comment with all the entries you've done & a way to contact you should you win.

I'll pick a winner sometime on Friday by random number generator to give you time to get entries in. I'll post the giveaway and one day sale on facebook and twitter, but I have no plans to spend the day promoting it since I'll be doing my civic duty this afternoon.

Thanks so much everyone for all the support over the years, here's to at least another five!

Monday, April 18, 2011


It occurred to me on Friday that I may have made some incorrect assumptions regarding the timeline for my secret project. Aside from one short conversation with my contact, I've heard nothing since I delivered my pieces and I have been merely tracking news of it online. Yes, it is big enough that I can do that. Anyway I assumed based on some information I found that things would be revealed this week, but have since learned that may not be the case. The last bit of semi-reliable information came in the form of 'sometime late this month'. It's likely that you and I both will discover at the same time whether or not my pieces were actually used with any prominence. So again, sorry for all the teasing, but we've waited this long, what's another couple of weeks, right?

I did get some work done over the weekend. The necklace I showed you on Friday was finished and listed. I enjoyed the look of the silver beads dotting the edge so much that I made a second necklace with the same effect. It also gave me a chance to successfully use the frilled node stitch that has been eating at my brain since Marliee's teardrop set. I started with a bit of a vintage edging. I had to really redo the stitch counts to make it lay well and I changed all the chains to the node stitch or Victorian sets adding in the silver beads.

Once that one was done I had one of my sepia pieces to remake and that sent me down the path of doing both of the newest necklace in browns. I had to pop by Michael's for some brassy seed beads to make them, but I should have both of them done and listed later today. I also have one small custom order to work on today and of course the rest of the week is wholly uncertain due to jury duty that starts tomorrow. I am really crossing my fingers that it's only a few days as I really don't want it to affect my daughter's schooling, nor my business. I had postponed my service to this week because it's her vacation so hopefully that works out okay.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm Back Baby

Aha! What happens when you reach a low point? Well, in my case I was rewarded with a sudden burst of inspiration. Nothing too amazing or earth shattering, but just enough to get me moving again. It started with a brief moment staring at Marliee's new 'trendy teardrop' pattern. There are a lot of tatters I admire for different reasons, but I try to resist working their patterns as they tend to get under my skin & I want to muck with them when I feel I should not. Anyway, I stopped working on remaking things to make up an old medallion with a victorian set edge inspired by that design. The medallion didn't really work out, but it set my brain back into create mode.

Then I did go back and remake a bracelet like a good girl, but the whole time I kept thinking, 'why haven't I made this into a choker yet?' So that was my next stop. The original pattern was a hanky edging that I had already mucked with enough that it's is almost unrecognizable from it's source pattern. I further adjusted the pattern larger with my super guessing math powers which shouldn't actually work, but they almost always do. The enlargement of the design helped it work up a bit faster as well, so I was ready to figure out how to embellish the thing in just a couple of hours.

I kept going back and forth about whether I should add chains or charms or crystals. I wanted it to have an impact as a wider piece, but I generally like to keep embellishments simple too. I opted for sterling silver beads dotting the bottom edge. They sort of give the piece a studded effect. I didn't finish it in time to get good photos of it, but I do have a couple more things that need pictures so I'll try to get around to that today. My cold sore is almost gone, but I'm sure it will still take some extra makeup and some photo editing to make me look decent. Speaking of the cold sore though, I do want to tell you that if you suffer from these little demons, taking the amino acid supplement L-Lysine is a fabulous idea. This is my first cold sore in months and it is to the healing stage in just a few days as opposed to a week or so normally. Being told to try this stuff was among the best twitter advice I've ever gotten so it's only right to share.

So today, pictures to take and just a few small things to remake. It'll be nice to be caught up before I have jury duty next week. I'm also still trying to decide on a celebration for my five year etsy store anniversary...I want to do something, but it has to be easy and not too time consuming. I guess I'll figure it out this weekend. Ah, the weekend. it's back.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I got nothing. That's right, I have no pictures, no stories of anecdotal value, no new tatting...nothing. I spent the day like I said I would tatting up sold items to be re listed. You've likely seen them all before so pictures would be silly. I didn't go anywhere or do anything of any real consequence. I wore my new shoes around the house to break them in and I nursed the first cold sore I've gotten since I started taking l-lysine months ago...apparently it can stop most of them, but not all. That, my friends, was the whole of the day.

Now I am sitting here searching my brain for any bit of interesting I might have to share. I haven't had any new sales, but I did have another wholesale inquiry. It was for an online boutique so I will say no. I just really don't see the point of offering a lower price to someone who is selling online where I already have a presence. It is still flattering to be asked of course, it's just not worth all the drama. Hell, I'm still dealing with the last one as there have been some paypal issues delaying the final payment. So, I haven't been able to ship that one and the box is just staring at me.

So, what's on tap for today? I think that you already know. There are more pieces to remake, those shoes still need more breaking in and this cold sore won't be leaving me for days. I'm hoping for something interesting to happen today. By that I do mean good interesting, not bad interesting. Oh, and it should be something I can actually work with not one of those passing opportunities from someone who never gets back to me. There have been too many of those lately, so yeah, there you have it...all the excitement that is my average day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What's That Then?

We're reaching my boring phase again. I got things remade yesterday and I got pictures of the sorta new piece to update the listing. Yes, I went the lazy route and just took a couple of them and still used the modeled photos from before updating the listing to point out which version was currently for sale. This leaves about six more pieces currently living on the remake list, but I think there are a couple more that I have listed as custom pieces that I really should put on there as well. nothing new, nothing interesting, just tatting much of the day.

I do have a funny little thing to show you though. Every month me and mu husband go out and visit our comic book shop in the evening with a bunch of other...we'll call them aficionados. We look through the new listings in the Previews catalog to see what we are all interested in for the coming months and we talk comics. Yes, this is what passes for going out and I actually enjoy it. Anyway, we're perusing the titles when we run across this cover image.

Wait, just look in the corners or click on it to see it bigger...yeah, see it now? That's right, comics and tatting collide. Sure, I imagine the artist just found the image, cloned it and set it about not having any idea what sort of doily they had there, but it stopped me for a minute and I announced it to the group who could totally care less. I was excited. Just in case you're interested, this is the Empowered Special #2: Questions For The Maidman. No, I don't read the book, so I have no idea, something about a broom wielding superhero, but look, it's tatting right there on the cover...behind the chick with the disintegrating costume.

So, it's just back to remaking again today.Well that and breaking in my new patent leather flats I got in the post yesterday to replace the comfy ones that are literally falling apart. The new ones hurt, but they fit and they're cute and I will conquer them. No, you didn't need to know that, but it will be what I am doing all day, so there you have it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sorta New

So yesterday started a little wonky because we had an annual trip to the pediatrician for my youngest. She was as brave and as well behaved as possible, but when she got those last two shots of the visit the tears came tumbling down. This understandably made her a bit needy for much of the day and who am I to deny a child that just endured all of that. So basically the morning was a wash. I still managed to get schooling done while waiting on her hand and foot, but I didn't pick up a needle and thread until well after lunch.

I have begun slowly whittling down the remake list, but the lazy soul that I am I've started with the easy to complete pieces which means the end of this list is full of whole day long and longer projects. I did get something slightly new made yesterday, sorta. I finally sold my first circlet and I wanted to remake it. Problem was I used bits from the grab bag to embellish the center motif, so I got to dig around for some different bits. This time I went with the basic swarovski rounds and a pearl with a little brass bead cap to tie it in better. I'm still trying to decide if I'm just going to take one picture of it and mention that they will be getting this one, not the first one pictured in the listing or just  take all new pictures. I really like the pictures in the original listing and the only difference in the pieces is the center bits so I am leaning toward the first option. Remember...I'm lazy.

So I suppose I'll try to stay on task today and get some more pieces knocked off the remake list. I would really like to get all of this done, but I don't feel like I have to work 14 hours a day anymore. That, my friends, is a priceless feeling. I really do enjoy being able to take a break when I need to and frolic with the kids and kittens just to remind myself how lucky I truly am.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Starting Again

Well, that was quite the weekend. We spent a lot of time acquiring and then assembling storage things. Some people clean in the spring, we organize. Never mind that both the compulsion to do so and the energy required to maintain fall away by mid summer and the whole process will be repeated next Spring, it looks nice right now.

I would also like to publicly thank the Universe for listening to me on Friday. The shop immediately picked up almost to the point of 'be careful what you wish for', but I think it's under control. It is definitely not giving me any time to remake things, but I'm trying to make two of things that are bought as custom so I can list them again straight away. I was going to make this a cautionary tale about asking the Universe for attention, but I wonder if I shouldn't ask for a load of cash first? Yeah, that would likely end badly so I will just stick with, The Universe is Listening.

So, there is a week left before the potential secret project reveal. Interestingly that is also the 5th anniversary of my etsy shop and the day I have jury duty, so it might be a bit of a wash in the joy department. I'm still trying to decide if I should bother doing anything for the anniversary as I will likely be too busy to promote anything properly and with my luck if I plan something too big I'll get empaneled or be stuck there for days anyway.

So, this week its tatting, tatting and more tatting, you know, like most weeks. I hope yours is lovely and there's some backyard songbirds.

Friday, April 8, 2011

At The End OF The Week

Most weeks Friday doesn't mean much since my 'day job' never ends, but I'm really happy to see it come this week. A couple of days off from blogging and maybe I get to sleep in until, I don't know, six or something. Yeah, that's the sweet life.

 I'm still waiting for final payment on the large order, but it's packed and ready to go as soon as that arrives. That means I was free yesterday to make whatever I felt needed to be made. I've opted to actually reproduce the designs that I made for the secret project, just in case it plays out well. Of course that means I really can't show you what I've been working on either as I want the whole thing to remain under wraps for the time being. I did also get a couple of other things remade for the shop and I will continue to work on that until everything is listed again or I get another custom order that requires my attention.

There are no really big weekend plans for me. I'll just keep on working until I get to that point where I feel like I've caught up a bit and can slow down. Hopefully that's sooner rather than later, but knowing me it'll happen right before I get inundated with another bout of custom orders or fit of design fever...or both. It would be nice if shop sales would pick up now that's I'm not so busy as they have been very few and far between as of late, though the timing of the lull was fortuitous. It would put the cherry on the convenient timing cake if they returned now as if the universe planned it all. You hear that Universe, I'm talking to you. Alright then, off to it yet again.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Done...ish. That's right I have finished tatting the large order. I even pressed the lot of it, counting, double counting and counting again as I packed it. All that remains is the terror inducing task of shipping it to the other side of the planet. Yes, I have shipped all over the world, but never an order of this amount, one that will have to go through customs and absolutely have duties attached to it. There are invoices to create, which I never do and forms to fill out. I'd like to say that I'm never agreeing to this sort of thing again, but never say never right. Oh, and when I say that I sing the song from American Tail not that other song by that name.

In other news, apparently I should not have apologized for ranting. I was going to take it all back today, but I did really mean it. I mean, I don't apologize for the rant itself, only the way it made a few people feel, which was unintentional. The incident that spurred it was resolved with a simple, 'I didn't know' and I believe them. I really do appreciate all the comments of support though, they are really wonderful to read. I did want to respond to one comment though regarding etsy's stance on copying. Copyright protection is the sole responsibility of the the copyright holder. That means, it's your job to tell them with proof in the form of a dmca take down notice. Once they have that they either contact the infringing party to remove the items, or in the case of widespread abuse shutdown the seller. There are varying opinions on their use of this power in this regard, but my personal experience with one particularly aggressive copycat was quite positive. The offender literally disappeared off the Internet, in that form anyway, after I submitted the dmca to etsy.

Of course I was also on the other side of that once long ago when I first started my shop. It was unintentional on my behalf as well. It was a single item left over from a custom order for a friend, but the pattern from a credit less picture they found online turned out to belong to a very aggressive copyright protector. In that case I was asked very nicely by etsy to remove the listing which I immediately did and I learned a very valuable lesson. It also spurred me to design more and look where that has gotten me.

So, today begins the great remaking of sold items that will likely last for sometime as I've been working on the large order for three weeks and even though sales have been slow, they have still existed and I haven't remade a single thing in that time. The hardest part will be deciding what needs remaking first, maybe alphabetical or by date sold...see hard. Well, off to it then, there is no rest for the wicked.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I'm Sorry

I feel kind of bad about yesterdays post as it appears my evil might have scared a few innocent people. Really, I just needed to vent a bit and well, this is where I do my venting. I will never 'come after' anyone just because they attempt to sell tatting online. I welcome the infusion of talent into the marketplace. I find myself asked to make custom things for people often that do not fit my aesthetic and I would be glad of more talented tatters to fill those gaps. There is plenty of room for artisans creating their own designs and niches, there is, however no room for folks who copy or mimic...seriously full up on that.

On to better things then. You know I can't say anything about my most recent secret project partly because even I don't know how it's going to play out so there may ultimately be nothing to share. That being said I have a date when I should know more, two weeks. What I don't mind saying is that if this thing works out well it will likely change everything. I suppose that's enough teasing huh?

In other news, vigilant tatting yesterday puts me in line to finish the large order today or tomorrow which means it is almost off my plate! Woo Hoo! I really ought not complain, but man this has been a lot of work. It has distracted me from the horrible sales in my shop recently though, so that's good. I've got a field trip with the kids today, but I should still have time to tat later and then I need to make a list of all the things I haven't remade and get to work on that. It's funny, my husband asked if I was taking a vacation after the secret project and large order. I thought that I might initially, clearly it's more of a might not. It really is a good thing that I still love tatting and I hope you still love kitten pictures because that's all I've got for you.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm A Mean, Mean Person

Things are starting to settle a bit and I can see the end of the tunnel that is this large order. I received the thread I ordered yesterday at lunchtime which was much faster than anticipated and got my other small custom order worked out. Look, it's a picture of actual tatting that hasn't been seen before. The thread I was waiting for was the harvest orange there on the left. It's paired with a dark brown Lizbeth. Honestly I have very little Lizbeth as I find it a little too stiff for most wearables, but for pins it is perfect.

I did still spend the lion share of the day working on that large order, but not only did I have time for that custom, I had time for a few other things as well. I managed to schedule up the wunderkammer and spend some quality time on the twitter too. I even had time to troll the tatting listings on etsy to discover someone selling one of my designs again. This led to the awkward, 'please don't sell my designs' convo, which I hate. Then I added a facebook blanket statement regarding my personal thoughts on the issue. I will reprint that here just to cover all my bases.
Dear mostly new tatting friends, Let me state this for the record:
I don't care if you make something I designed for yourself, as a gift, to sell to your friend, neighbor, coworker or at your local craft fair especially if you give credit, but please I ask you kindly not to sell those pieces online where I make my only living. I hate sending mean messages asking you to take down listings. Thank You!
I really do want to encourage more people to learn to tat, but I fear the ease of learning as well as working from so many pictures available online without human contact has created a bit of a disconnect. I think people are just not thinking about the etiquette of creating from other peoples work.  I also still find it a bit odd that people feel so very comfortable selling something that they just learned how to do and somehow that seems to be the first thought for many. 'I'll learn this so just I can sell it'. Anyway, I guess that's a different rant. The point here was I don't want to be mean and hoard knowledge, but I do want to protect myself from competing with my own designs. I also don't want to have to feel like the bad guy, which I do every single time I have to send one of those messages, makes my tummy all upset.

So back to the large order today and hopefully there are just a few days left on that and I can get onto another project I've been sitting on and remake some things. Just got to keep swimming.

Monday, April 4, 2011

No, I'm not finished with my enormous order yet, but I'm about halfway there. I did get a lot of tatting done over the weekend, but it was primarily focused on my youngest daughters birthday. First I spent days cleaning the house, then I decorated the house, then after the party I had to undecorate and clean again. Of course it's was all worth it as she had a wonderful time with her cousins. I just need a week long nap now and I am not going to get it because I still have half an order to fill. I have woken the Wunderkammer and will try to keep it up this week. I'm also looking forward to a thread shipment so I can finish up a small special order.  So I will start the week off with kittens and epically popular bird feeder and perhaps there will actually be some lace to share this week.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday At Last

Well according to UPS my package made it to its destination. Yes, this time it had to be signed for an all that jazz so it should be fine. I've not heard any news one way or the other and my thought it that i won't for some time. When I do though, you'll know it.

Of course it was just another day of tatting and cleaning and apparently I was also volunteered out for some graphics work for the comic shop. Never mind that I had no idea how to do what I was asked and had to spend like a half an hour just figuring it out. Lucky for some people I thrive on figuring things out. Anyway, Happy International Tatting Day! I feel bad that I'm not up to a big event this year. Last year I sold dozens of discounted pendants for the day and got tatting into many new hands, but I just can't handle the extra custom work right now. I will however be tatting up a storm and I think I can manage to consume a little chocolate for the occasion.