Wednesday, November 30, 2011

That's Better

Yet another day with nothing new to show you, but at least the shop began to pick up a bit. Of course that didn't happen until the afternoon so I spent the morning after schooling staring into space waiting for a task to spill out of my laptop. It really is logical...I couldn't start working on something new and exciting because then I would just have to drop it should something actually require my attention. I was laying in wait, on standby...bored crapless.

Anyway, once an order came in, there was another following it and then another. The last though has me in a bit of a quandary as it was a custom listing and the customer didn't note what colors they wanted. I sent a message asking which hasn't yet been replied to. I suppose I'll make the piece up as pictured and hope that's what they wanted. It's just one of my boutonnieres so it won't take too long to make. If I'm wrong I'll at least have one in stock like the one in the picture.

So that's what's on tap for this morning. I have one other custom order to finish up and then the boutonniere. Then I suppose it's more finger crossing for another order to keep me busy. Though I think I'm finally in the mood to finish the large gift project. It just needs embroidery now, but it needs to be creative and I just haven't been feeling it lately. Oh and thanks to all of you who commented regarding my question. Seems that the single pattern for sale is good. If I can figure out how to best illustrate one I might cut my teeth on that idea after the holiday. On the same subject, just as a side note, all the patterns I have actually written up to share are over in the the right hand column. If it's not there either I don't want to share it, i.e. the Ankle Corsets(I know, selfish) or I simple haven't written up the pattern. I generally work off of prototypes or pictures so I don't usually write anything down. I'll have a few more free ones in the new year I'm sure, but for now, that's all I've got.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another Dud

Well Cyber Monday did not provide any more sales than any other Monday might have. It brought one sale, is what I'm trying to say, but that one was a custom sized mask meaning at least it gave me something specific to do for the day. So that's pretty much all I did, but I did get the mask finished so I'm feeling pretty good about that.

I do have a question for tat land though. I have been receiving a lot more messages on etsy and through formspring asking for patterns and general tatting instruction lately.  I was curious if this is a trend that's anyone else is seeing. I imagine it's connected to the holidays and the desire to be able to make unique gifts, but I don't remember the same thing occurring in years past. I have gotten so many request lately that I'm actually contemplating a book again. Don't get excited though, it's so not happening anytime soon. I just don't have the skill set required to put that together, but I digress, my initial curiosity is well, are you seeing more curiosity lately?

Let's see, for today, I did wake up to a few more messages on etsy asking for custom lengths and colors so hopefully those customers will provide me with something to do for today. Otherwise I'm, making more snowflakes for 'just in case' gifts. I do have a meeting with the home school 'teacher' this morning for the quickly approaching end of the semester, but that's the whole of my days plans. Here's to something wonderful and unexpected happening.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekend Recap

Well, it sure was a long weekend. You already got the Thanksgiving updates but the rest of the weekend was putting up the tree, eventually decorating it and other random family events. We went to a movie, avoided shopping and the husband played a lot of Zelda which the girls watched like it was a movie. I do want to back up to the tree story for a second though.

We had one last year with the kittens and they were constantly scaling it, but they were light enough to not cause too much damage. I picked up some deterrent spray this year thinking their increased size would make said scaling an epic disaster. This meant we put up the tree and left it undecorated for a day to test the waters. As you can see by this increadibly dark photo, it didn't exactly work. I saw the tree swaying from downstairs and when I got up in the loft, this is the sight I was greeted with. We did end up decorating anyway, though we opted to keep all the keepsake ornaments off the tree in case this was a portend of things to come. So far they have been good merely sleeping beneath the tree, but there's a month to go so I'm not counting my chickens yet.

I did work on some more snowflakes over the weekend and I had hoped that the shop would get busy, but it was a virtual ghost town. It's likely my own fault though. I chose to just stick with the free shipping and gift deal and I refused to spend a lot of time promoting on the social networks. I just felt so bombarded with promos myself, I couldn't add to the onslaught. There is of course still a couple of good weeks of holiday shopping time left, so I will cross my fingers that things pick up and yes, you can expect to hear more whining if they don't. This week everything else should be back to normal. I've got schooling to do and I'll keep using any free time for making gifts so I apologize in advance for the lack of new creations. Well, off to it then and a happy Monday to you all.

Friday, November 25, 2011


What a day, what a day. There was cleaning followed by a house full of chaos, food and then more cleaning. I was exhausted by six. That was the point that the new Zelda game took over the television. I thought I'd tat for a spell, but I didn't, I stared at the screen and became a lump of nothing on the couch with a glass of wine...good times.

I did get a little tatting done in the morning. I'm still nowhere finished with any of the projects on my plate. The purple hair piece is currently just one round big and the ankle corsets I need to make are maybe halfway complete. I did get some snowflakes sparkled up, but I still want to make more of those so I have enough to give away should we find ourselves in such a gathering over the holiday season.

Should finishing all those projects not be enough tasks for me, today is the day designated to drag the holiday decorations out of the closet and decorate. See all the tables and chairs are out of the closet already making access easier, then after decorating all of those can go away for a month before I have to pull them out and repeat yesterday's chaos once again except with ham and presents.

If you are insane enough to go shopping on this blackest of days, I wish you to not get pepper sprayed...seriously it's already happened, and that you find what you seek. I'm going to personally stay the hell away from retail for the weekend, save for a quick grocery trip and enjoy that my shopping has already concluded. I shall also be crossing my fingers that the shopping picks up in my own little etsy store and I guess Monday it's back to normal.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


[MCCALL'S MAGAZINE COVER, FAMILY ARRIVING IN KITCHEN FOR THE HOLIDAYS]Happy turkey and pie day to all my North American friends. Yeah, yeah, I know that's not what the day is all about, family, friends, giving thanks, forgetting about century's old oppression and destruction of indigenous people in favor of a pretty myth about people sharing. See, turkey and pie day is better isn't it?

I got most of the house cleaning done yesterday along with some tatting. I only managed to start the purple doily hair piece though so I have nothing new to show you. I worked on snowflake flurries while the husband played the new Legend of Zelda game and I have a pair of ankle corsets that needs remaking that I got started, but still have much work left on. Of course with all the cleaning, eating and cleaning I'll be doing today, I really don't think I'll accomplish much. Then tomorrow is the first official day of the Christmas season. The decorations and tree may go up and I will no longer curse when I hear holiday music, though the incessant toy commercials can cut it anytime. In fact I will sing, 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year', every time I enter a busy location...dripping with sarcasm of course. Years of working retail have tainted the holidays forever and honestly I hope this coming month flies by. If it wasn't for the time spent with family and friends and those rare moments of honest giving that are truly wonderful I'd forgo the whole thing.

I guess that's enough complaint for the morning. I'll be back tomorrow, likely in a better mood and I hope you all do truly enjoy any time off you're given this long holiday weekend. I am, as cheesy as it sounds, thankful for each and every one of you. That you read and comment and support me and my work is a great comfort and needed motivation for me. Thank You...really!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Damn Elusive Thread

Such a failed attempt to find the metallic thread I am running out of. I don't remember when or where I bought it and of course the label disappeared years ago. It's made up of two plys and each ply has what appears to be a black cotton thread wrapped with a silver filament making it about twice as thick as heavy duty sewing thread and it's on a beige colored locking spool. I searched high and low and nothing, so much nothing. Sure I found lots of beautiful metallic thread that all looked too thin or not remotely the same construction or color. I've used it a lot on my fancy masks and these new doily pieces, but it will be gone with just another project. I can live with not finding the same thread again if I can find a suitable replacement that serves the same purpose, mainly the same thickness and the dual tone. I know, good luck right?

In other non news, I got a lovely custom color order yesterday that I worked on much of the day and what time was left I devoted to working on snowflakes. I did start another doily hairpiece, this time in purple for it was requested.  I've got a couple of other things to remake today and then the day is devoted to the cleaning of the house in anticipation of tomorrow's meal. Yeah, I'm not looking forward to the rest of today, but one can't stop the march of time, so march I must.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

In Black

In a lovely surprise, I got in the hat bases I ordered far earlier than I had expected them. It's always wonderful when you find a supply seller who appears to really care and ships quickly. I've found many of them to be, well...slow in that regard. Anyway, that meant I could get a red doily hair piece made up again and listed, so that's what I did in the morning. At this point I have the design down to a science, even the embroidery bits are flying, though I'm running dangerously low on some of the thread I use for that and I don't remember where I got it. Guess I'm playing the google game today and hoping it turns up quickly.

Then I turned my attention back to my gift project. I being very selective about which sold pieces I'm bothering to remake. I figure I can save many of them for January when the shop goes into its annual coma. I still have a little more work on the gift, but it's embroidery and is directly affected by the afore mentioned supply issue.

After I set that aside for the time being my mind wandered back to the flurries. I thought they would make nice simple gift for some friends, but I wanted to do them in black, so I needed to run an experiment first. I knew the sparkle modge podge worked on white perfectly, but I wasn't certain it would work on black thread. So I grabbed a prototype motif sitting on my side table, read 'rejected piece' and dabbed away, then waited. It really turned out neat. The sparkle on the white is a fairly subtle effect, but on the black it really stands out, but as I hoped the modge podge itself dried nice and clear and did not muddy the black thread at all. This meant that I was going to get to work on some black flurries. I apologize if you know me in real life, but you're likely ending up with a flurry snowflake should we exchange gifts. Oh and this little reject is likely going on my tree.

I've no other pressing plans for the day, no orders in queue nor pieces that need remaking. I thought about making another doily hair piece, but I got little enthusiasm online when I asked for possible color requests. I got about the same amount of enthusiasm when I suggested a black Friday or Cyber Monday type sale. Of course I'm okay with that as not having one means I don't have to spend my holiday running one. I will have a free shipping code up for the holidays, it's 'holiday2011' if you're interested, but I think that's all I'm going to do. Either people want to buy my lace or they don't, I certainly can't compete with deals like $200 flat screens, so I won't try.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Flurries And Kittens

Amongst all the errand running and general weekend nonsense I actually got quite a bit of tatting done. I finished up the gray doily fascinator and went ahead and made a mocha brown one with brass beads and got both of them listed. I managed to remake a sold mask that I was stalling on and then in an effort to make a little something for gifts, Jane's Flurry snowflake pattern was busted out. I got a little carried away making these last year and I fear that if I'm given the time it will happen again.

I made a set in white and then I discovered Sparkle Modge Podge. I wanted to sparkle them and I was all set to make some sort of unholy glitter mix when I stumbled upon it in the store. Ah, premixed unholy glitter goop, huzzah. I would never use this stuff on anything but an ornament that I wanted completed stiff, but it worked like a charm for this one purpose. I fear I will make more.

I'm not sure how much work will get accomplished this week as I prep the house for the family holiday meal. The guest list has grown to 20 and that has me a little out of sorts. It's just a very large number of people for a sit down meal. I just had a shiver thinking of doing the dishes after. I suppose there's a good reason why we only do this sort of thing a couple of times a year. Anyway, I do have some things needing to be remade and I will likely make some more flurries for gifts, so I suppose if I do find some downtime, it won't be down for long.

Now I leave you with my Sunday morning as I began work on the flurries. I printed out the pattern because I needed a refresher, sat down to work and this happened. If you were around last year when the kittens joined our household, this probably looks familiar. There was a point with more of them on my legs and let me tell you, they are much heavier and far more interested in my thread than the used to be. It's a wonder I get anything done.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Still On The Doilies

So black on white won the great, 'ask the internet what to do' challenge yesterday. I have to agree that was the way to go with the black thread. I think it has a very 'Old Hollywood' look to it. After that I decided on two more colors to try out, gray on a black base and Victorian red on a black base. Again, my internet social networks were consulted on which to make first and the red won.

I've been working each of these slightly different, playing with stitch counts and the number and placement of picots on the outer edge. I also noted that the different colored bases I purchased have slight size differences and that's making them each come out a bit different too. The red one has already been snatched up so I figure I'll make up the gray one today and then remake the red one to relist. Of course by that point I will have used up my new supply of bases save for an ivory one that I haven't decided on yet. I was thinking a brown one, but not sure whether I should go with chocolate or mocha brown. Also that I know there is a difference between those colors is weird. This is what Lizbeth thread has done to me, I've become a color snob. Albeit a color snob that still prefers black.

So that's pretty much the whole plan for today. I did sell a couple of other small things yesterday that I must also get remade and listed over the weekend. I will likely order up some more bases just so I can remake the other doily fascinators should they sell. I also still have quite a lot of finishing work on my gift project. Lucky for me, I started it early enough that I can take my time with it. Here's to a lovely weekend for you all out there.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


The morning was as expected. After schooling and some cleaning, I headed to the mailbox where I was happy to discover the new hat bases I had ordered like the one I used for the doily fascinator. A lovely friend on twitter had taken a shine to the design and had requested a white and black version. Sure, I should have asked again if she was sure before I made it, but I was desperate for something new to do. So, it's not completely new, but I really do love working this pattern for some reason. I used a black base to help the white pop and in pictures the black portion is hard to capture, but in person it stands out just fine. This one got a silver embroidered edge and a antiqued silver filigree with a black swarovski in the center. It should be off to a new home soon.

Then since I was in the mood and I have a few more bases, I started a black version. I still haven't decided whether to put in on a black base for the full 'goth' look or on a white one for the contrast. I think they will have two totally different looks so I think I'll post pictures either way later and hope the twitter or facebook can solve my dilemma. Of course I can always do it both ways, but which way first?

So today's tasks include a normal day of schooling followed by finishing up the new doily fascinator and getting it listed. Also I shall be actively crossing my fingers for the holiday shopping season to finally  find my storefront. Yes, I will continue to complain about it until things get in gear. I have holiday presents to pay for...I already shopped! I don't think there's anything else so that will be the whole of the day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I'm sorry, but I've really got nothing for you today. Yesterday went like this: schooling, remaking, errand running, and finally zoo field trip and home. The Zoo we went to is the same one, about an hour away, that we usually go to. This time, since it was a field trip, we had a tour though and that was quite pleasant. I love hearing stories about about the animals, learning their names and quirks. We were also fortunate to be about while they had the 8 week old tree porcupine out and the 6 month old anteater. When I say out, I don't mean on display. They were out with handlers getting exercise and meeting people. I would have never guessed how cute and friendly a porcupine is, not that any of us was going to pet the cute thing.

But I digress, it was a lovely trip, aside from the oldest daughter dropping her sunglasses into the coati enclosure and then the husband dropping his keys in trying to retrieve said sunglasses. Both object were safely retrieved by zoo staff with a reacher grabber. Earlier in the day, I had only managed to remake two bracelets for the shop. There were no additional sales yesterday, so I imagine I'll be back to the gift project for a spell and then if nothing to do emerges I suppose I'll work on something new. This holiday shopping season has yet to get in gear and I'm fairly nervous about that, but all I can do is try to keep as busy as I feel like I should be and hope for the best. Fingers crossed

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I sat sat around for much of the morning hoping that something would happen to spur me forth to some interesting project, or anything to tat really, but nothing came. Finally, I remembered the gift project I've been working on. I started it knowing it would be a project that I would only come back to when I wasn't otherwise busy and yesterday was perfect for it. It had been quite some time since I'd worked on it and I left off at a point where I needed to figure out my next move. It's one of those projects that is different enough from previous creations that I get to stretch that creative muscle, but not so different that I'm worried about it turning out. I wish that I could show you more of it, but as it is a gift and most of the people I know is real life do know where I live here, it is unwise. However, I thought this nice abstract photo would at least give a pop of color to the blog this morning.

I did get a couple of bracelet sales, so I have those to remake. One of them was the new gray one too, so I'm very pleased with myself that someone else liked the color palette. Other than that we have a field trip to the zoo out of town this afternoon and that is likely to eat up much of the day. Oh and I'll need to run some errands before we go, so I'm already tired thinking about my day. I hope your is a good one.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hats and Grays

It was another long weekend. Of course this time it actually was a day longer than usual. First I will start with the tatting. I sat down to try to make the doily fascinator fancier, but as I attempted to bead it, I realized that I liked it better the way it was. So, I undid the beading I had begun and got it photographed and listed. I liked the result so much that I went ahead and ordered some more hat bases in different shades so I can make a few more.

Then I got a couple small orders, so I spent a little time remaking things while thinking about what to make with the new charcoal gray thread. I truly love this color. I know, it's not really colorful, but it really is a gorgeous gray. Unfortunately, my creativity was on vacation, so instead of doing something interesting with it, I did something tried and true. I did get to use some new colored beads as well though. These are a beautiful light silvery gray that matches very well with the darker gray of the thread. I'm sure I'll think of something more awesome to make with it at some point.

So, other than tatting, there were two birthday celebrations for family and one nice little get together with friends along with the usual weekend nonsense. It was a busy, talkative weekend and I ended it with a ridiculous headache last night. This week should be fairly normal save for a zoo field trip tomorrow. I'm basically all caught up in the shop until I get some more orders or inspiration, so I guess we just wait and see where the day takes us.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I wish I could say that it was a terrible exciting day, but mostly it was just me and the new medallion design. Of course adjusting this pattern for size and style has taught or more likely reminded me of a few things. First, I totally take modern thread with it's tight twist and consistent thickness for granted. I'm working these with vintage thread found for me in a thrift store. It has that perfect cast of age that will give anything I tat that feeling of actually being vintage, which is the desired effect, but a bit of a hassle to work with really, sometimes thin, then thick and loose.

Second, it is truly amazing what happens when you change the stitch count in an element by just one or two stitches. The first one was the prototype and it cupped as I made it, though I was able to flatten it, and the edge chains stretched into a circle rather than a point. In the second version I reduced the chains in the middle of the design by two stitches and added two to the joining rings and finally two to the outer chains. These small changes don't seem like they should make enough of a difference on paper, but in the lace, the difference made the piece perfect. It worked up flat and pointed just enough and the adjustments made no further difference in final size which is exactly what I needed.

After I finished both final pieces, I kept playing with that slightly curved prototype. I just couldn't let it go to waste, since I like the design that way too. Then I remembered that I had picked up a few different hat or fascinator bases when I was making those little veils. I had one that was a simple round, black straw base. The medallion fit over it perfectly with just the points over the edge, so it's gonna be a hair piece. First I'm gonna fancy it up a bit with a little bronze filament embroidery around the outer edge and then I'll get it sewn to the based. I thought about adding some netting or fabric, but I think I like it just being a doily you wear in your hair. So, even though today is technically a holiday, I think I'll work on that and hopefully get it done and listed. There are still tasks that need doing and a nieces birthday party to attend so that may be all I accomplish anyway.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Busy Is Good

Well, yesterday was a much better...or less frustrating day anyway. No huge dramas or missing packages. I finished up the replacement pieces for the missing package so that's one looming task completed. Just as I was about to begin some remaking, I got some interesting project messages. Nothing too interesting, but something new to do. You might remember that I contributed some tatted medallions and hearts to a lovely lady that makes lampshades in the past. She contacted me for some more. The reason this is always a nice challenge is that she always has a specific size and shape that needs to be filled by the medallion. The large hearts were the hardest, but this time around it was just a specific size.

I started out trying to upside a simple snowflake design that she was partial too, but that was an unmitigated failure. I thought it might be, but I had to try. Then I thought I'd use my newest modified doily piece and do some further modification to give it a pointed edge and increase it's size. I think it's going to work out just fine, but I didn't have a chance to finish the prototype. I got another message on etsy. This one started with the oft heard, 'I didn't know anyone still tatted' and continued on to be a custom order for a couple of color pieces. So then I was off to that task.

Honestly, I adore the crazy days with multiple projects and interactions with people. They really break up the monotony that can form when one is home all day. So, today it's back to the medallion. Once I've finished that I'll hopefully get approval and make a second one. If I finish that it'll be back to remaking things for the shop. I didn't get my new thread yesterday, so hopefully today. It usually arrives quickly and I really want to see that gray thread. I know, I'm simple. I don't even know yet what I'll make with it, but it'll be something new.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ups and Downs

It's always best to start at the beginning so I'm afraid I shall start with complaining yet again today. You see, I started yesterday by attempting to call the postal service. The web page gave me a number I should call to 'document my issue' regarding the seemingly lost package, only nowhere in the automated phone line could I find a place to do so. I couldn't even manage to find a living human being. I ended my frustration by sending an email regarding the issue. I'm not certain that it will do any good, but I tried and I now truly hate that damn phone line.

On a positive note, when I relayed my futile attempt to my customer and offer a refund or replacement, they responded with grace and understanding. They offered to wait a while to see if it does in fact arrive this week and then they requested a replacement if it does not. If relying on the postal service is one of the low points of my little business, having customers like this is one of the highest.

So the rest of the day was spent remaking some barefoot sandals for the store and starting to remake the contents of the missing order just in case. I honestly have little faith at this point that it will, so I might as well get on it. The evening was a lovely trip to our monthly comic book store meeting. Really, it's a lot more engaging than it seems. It's a lovely break from conversations online and with kids. I returned late to a couple of orders and I'm crossing my fingers that the rush is beginning. Getting the holiday shopping done early felt great, but it left quite the hole in my wallet that needs filling.

So today, it's finishing up that missing order and then more remaking. I ordered up some of the new charcoal  colored Lizbeth thread from Handy Hands last week and it should be here today or tomorrow, so I might take a break when it arrives to make something with it. I have been waiting for a dark gray thread forever. Now, I just need a medium between their silver gray and this and I will be a happy tatter. Wow, that seems like a much odder statement than it is when you read it back. Oh, to it then.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I was lamenting that after a long day of fairly constant tatting that I would have nothing to say here. I mean I schooled and tatted and relisted pieces as they were finished. I chatted very little online and unlike the weekend had no new communications requiring my reply. However, I could have definitely done without the communication that I received a mere 15 minutes before bedtime.

It was the dreaded, 'Where the hell is my package?' message. Often when this one appears a quick check of the tracking shows that it was in fact delivered. Of course as they say it didn't arrive, I assume to the wrong address. This one was more mysterious and therefore more annoying than that. The tracking shows it left here and tracked for one more day on the 3rd and then nothing. Apparently it fell off the face of the earth. So today I have the singular pleasure of calling the USPS to attempt to track down the package. I get to hope that the customer does not blame me, but I will probably still have to replace the lost pieces at my own expense. I get to continue to lament that I must rely on a service I cannot control to get my packages into my customer's hands. I shouldn't have to feel lucky that this sort of thing doesn't happen more often. Oh and before you go suggesting that I use another delivery service, my luck with the other two hasn't been any better only more expensive. I already add insurance to packages that total more than $100, but I'm thinking I may have to adjust my shipping costs to include that on everything over $50 though I hate raising shipping costs as I personally hate paying large them myself.

I could of course just be overreacting to this one incident, but with the holiday season upon us, I am filled with shipping induced dread. These are also the situations that make me rethink running a little shop as well. I don't think I can ever stop now though as the income has become important to our household and tatting is important to my sanity. It's all this other mess that I could do without. Well, I think that's enough for today, I have much more tatting to do which apparently includes remaking a lost order to send so I best be off.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekend Madness

Oh, it was another of those weekends. You know the ones where you initially thought you might relax a bit and then you somehow managed to over plan the whole thing to hell. On Friday I finished the ankle corsets I was working on only to come back after schooling to them sold. No, this is not a complaint. I went straight back to remaking them and almost forgot to list the new earrings with the boutonniere pattern. So I took a quick break and got those up. All those mighty plans to make more were set aside though.

The rest of the weekend I was dealing with custom order inquiries. Those would lead to me making masks and not much else. So today I still have another mask to make and a couple other pieces that need remaking. Again, this is not a complaint, but I think the holiday season feeling may be creeping up on me. No, that's not a good thing. I generally only happily enjoy the holidays the week of. The rest of it is just too much. Speaking of too much, I do have one task I completed over the weekend that I am ridiculously proud of. I finished holiday shopping. Well, save for picking up a few gift cards. All the children in our lives are taken care of and I can now avoid much of the retail world for the next month and a half. Can I get a Woo Hoo?

So, there is much making on my plate today and the rest of the week I imagine. Taking a deep breath now.

Friday, November 4, 2011


What a day, what a day. Let me preface this story by saying that all involved turned out to be just fine. The husband called me early in the morning from work to tell me that he was headed to the Emergency room because he'd had a heart flutter. I took in this information, but did not process it quickly enough to ask pertinent questions before I was off the phone with him. This led to panic made worse by his obeying of signs to turn off his phone. So after a tense morning not knowing what was going on aside from random texts sent out between shutting his phone back off, he returns generally fine save for a soreness resulting from a brutal phlebotomist . Sure he panicked and I'm glad he went to the doctors to get checked out, but me and the girls were a bundle of nerves. In the future I hope I remember to ask more questions in situations like this because all that not knowing business just wound me up for hours.

Once I was relaxed I did manage to get back to work though. I made up a couple of these small boutonniere motifs that I'll get turned into earrings today and get listed. I might try a few more color combinations later if they are well received. Might even do a pendant too. Then I was ready to get back to some production work and I spent the rest of the evening working on remaking some ankle corsets. I'm still not done with those, so I'll be back to them this morning. After that I'm not certain which direction I will head, maybe back tot he simple boutonniere, but I do know I will try to stay busy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Done With That

Let's see, I finished up the third piece born from messing with the hen and chicks pattern and I got all three listed. There reception has been lukewarm, but I needed to make some new things and I did. I was also thinking about making a slave bracelet as well, but given the lack of love for the design in general, I think it would be a mistake to toss yet another piece out so soon. Maybe as the holiday season gets underway and I need a creation break I'll get it created.

I was also lucky enough to get yet another etsy finds shout out. This time it was for Dia De Los Muertos. The link will take you to the web version of the email. Again, it was no great windfall of attention, but I'll take any I can get. After I ran my shop numbers for October I have to say that I am desperate for a fantastic November and December. October was absolutely dismal compared to last year.

I also got a custom request for my boutonniere in Christmas colors with matching earrings.  Since I took a picture of the prototype earring. I thought I'd share it here. I wasn't so sure it would work as an earring, but it seems to. I may get these made up for the shop, in more basic colors. No other great or interesting news for you and I think I've got a pretty good queue lined up of things that need tatting so I'll be busy today. Busy is good...busier, better.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hen & Chicks

Again I avoided making the one thing I've said needed making for the last two days. I just wasn't feeling it. I needed to do something different, something that required I figure out something. So I started flipping through my antique pattern collection for inspiration. It didn't take long to get a hit on the perfect project. I got so much satisfaction out of working the last one shuttle medallion into a needle pattern that I thought I'd tackle another classic, the hen and chicks pattern. I mean it doesn't get any more classic and well known than that. Heck it's the only tatting pattern I know of with a name. I've worked it with cut thread before, but I hate all that extra thread, so a little zig-zag chain and it's loads more fun to work.

Of course I wasn't finished with the pattern as worked. I decided to add the dropped rings on the other side as well and it worked up into a bracelet rather well. Of course I now saw a few more projects hiding in this newly revisited classic. First up was a simple pendant design made using just one repeat of the pattern. I love the way it looks, but I still haven't decided which way to hang it. I'm leaning toward the way it is in the picture because it looks more interesting, but it looks more natural hanging from the larger ring.Or I might use chains and attach them to the top small side rings.

I found one more project in the pattern and I'll be working that up today. I'm going to do a choker with the hen and chicks not doubled and add the pendant bit at the center. I've done this before with the original version of the pattern, hanging actual pendants from the center, but I think this should have a nice unique look to it. I also finally have a couple of other pieces in queue to be remade and maybe I'll feel like a little production work now that I've got the creation bug out of my system. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Yes, I am just as exhausted by yesterday as I thought I would be. The children had a fine time with their multiple trick-or-treat trips and I even dressed up at the last minute to go out with them and my sister's family. I, however have no pictures of this event as I left all that to the husband and I have yet to steal some from him. It was a long night. Maybe I'll snag some today for tomorrows post so you can see the girls at least.

As I feared I got zero tatting done. There were just too many other things that needed doing. Laundry, dishes, floors and of course costumes and decorations. To save the display from being kitty killed, we opted for small window display and didn't put it up until late in the afternoon. Never mind that the display is mostly culled from bits that are up in our house all the time. One day when the kids have lost their Halloween fear, we'll go big. But I digress, today I have to finish undoing all that and hopefully I'll have some time to get back to tatting. I still have that one mask to make and I want to get a few more snowflakes done.

I have had a few custom requests lately that haven't returned yet, so I could theoretically get busy at any moment. I did also have one I had to say no to because I felt it wouldn't work. It is so hard to say, 'No, I can't do that'. The reality is I maybe could, but it would stress me out and I must remember that it is okay to say no. One does not have to accept every request and challenge just because you are asked. Sometimes I forget that when I need sales and things are rough in the shop, but I remembered this time. Well, off to it then...the holiday season is upon us all.