Monday, February 28, 2011

The One Off

I was such a busy tatter this weekend. From Friday until yesterday I made so many new bits. I even photographed and listed most of my new things. I really don't know what is behind this streak of creativity, but it just keeps on coming. It may be that a small comment made to me a while ago has ear wormed me. It was suggested that perhaps one off pieces are more interesting and valuable. This encouraged me to make more bits that cannot be remade exactly. It really is a freeing experience to tat without worrying about stitch counts or whether I can ever find a certain supply again or not.

Of course not everything I've been making is a one off. I made up the hexagonal headpiece/choker/headband and got it listed. It is totally repeatable. I also finished the conversion of the ankle corset piece into a choker, also a design that can be remade ad nauseum. By the way, I think it turned out pretty nice when I did it on purpose. I even got to add some of the runway pictures to the listing and chalk the design up to the stylists 'creative' use of an ankle corset.

The photo up top is of course a one off. I found this resin antler bit in a clearance bag I got at Michael's. I tatted around the triangle piece it hung from and them made stuff up as I went. I finished it with some heavy looking black chain, which is actually light. I haven't gotten this one listed yet partly because I feared I was listing too many things and partly because I adore it even though I know I will never wear it.

The other one off that I did get listed, there is still one more I'll show you tomorrow, is this asymmetrical piece. I had a bunch of metal rings of various sizes in a grab bag from Fire Mountain so I just started tatting around them and randomly connected them together as I worked. I didn't plan any of the designs, I just made this one up as well. Again I hung the whole thing from the black chain. What was surprising, besides that it turned out in the first place, is the weight of the piece. The metal gives it a nice solid feeling without being too heavy. It really gives the whole piece a sense of...I don't know, gravity.

It was pointed out to me that these look a bit like gears, so I dug around for more rings and came out with a few metal ones and a couple of rubber ones as well. So I'm working on turning those into a brown version. It will of course look completely different as I am making it the same random way. Side note, tatting around soft rubber rings, is not terribly easy. I will hopefully get that made up today and show you it and the other one off I still need to list tomorrow. Who knows when the streak will end and you will be stuck with random babbling again, so I suggest you enjoy this while it lasts.

Friday, February 25, 2011

More Hexagons

Not only did I actually get the two new pieces I showed off yesterday all the way to listing, but I turned the circle bit I mentioned into a piece as well. I really wasn't certain how I was going to finish the bracelet, but in the end I went with the tried and true lobster clasp. Someone said something about it maybe being a bangle and while that thought did cross my mind, I'm not sure how the lace would handle being stretched over ones hand repeatedly and I since I personally always lose bangles, we'll just stick with the clasp.

The circle piece just needed something interesting to hang in the center of it. I grabbed something random out of my Fire Mountain boss bag and hung it from a nice snake chain and got myself another nice one of a kind piece. Of course I can make the circle again, but it will have some other bit hanging in the center.

I also worked on the necklace I mentioned yesterday using the little hexagon. I re sized it again and worked it into an undulating pattern. I actually got the length finished on it yesterday, but I haven't decided how to clasp it yet either. It would actually make an interesting headpiece or even a headband as well as a necklace if I simply attach ribbon to the ends, but as usual I'm hemming and hawing about it. I should make up my mind today and I might get it listed as well.

Ooh, one last thing for you today. I was over on the etsy checking out some new changes they made when I saw this article linked on the front page, Needlework From The Drawers Of Daughters. I will admit that the content didn't resonate that much with me as I don't really collect lace and I don't have anyone in my life that tatted to inherit pieces from, instead I create my own with a fresh life. That being said the article is highlighted with some lovely pictures of tatting and the related items at the end featured both myself and the talented Krystledawne. If you get a chance also read some of the comments as a few folk make an effort to remind the world that these are not lost arts or ones simply relegated to someones great grandmother, but living, breathing, evolving ones with creators from all walks of life and corners of the world. As much as I respect the old lace, I think that new lace and its many makers deserve a little more love, don't you?

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Sure, I spent the morning surrounded by cheese and kids, but when I got home, I got things done. Go me. First up is the latest circlet/headpiece. I initially wanted to make it more of a wedding piece with crystals or pearls, but I had these little brass bits lying about after a failed necklace creation, so they were recycled instead. This one has five tatted motifs around the side modified from an antique edging pattern. I am also getting a bit better at this chain length business. That being said, I think I'm done with these for a spell. I tend to get ahead of myself and make tons of things with a new idea before I even have any clue whether they will sell or not.

Once that was done I was in the mood to find something new to make with some of the beads I recently acquired. So I began flipping through my pattern books for something I hadn't yet tried to leap out at me. This process can sometimes be slow as I 'm not looking for anything in particular, but rather something that tells me it wants a new life as something that can't be seen on the page. I stopped on a hexagonal groundwork motif. It's simple, dense and can be worked up in countless configurations. The first being this bracelet that kind of has the feel of a link bracelet.

I didn't get either of these pieces all the way to finished for listing so that's my task for today. I just didn't feel like taking pictures by the time the afternoon rolled around. I've also been playing with other configurations and stitch counts for the hexagon. I made up a circle piece with them that might become a pendant and I'm testing out an undulating design for a potential necklace. Honestly though, I'm not sure why I'm doing so much with the design since joining the last ring together with a needle in these sort of motifs is always such a pain.

Which reminds me, I need to answer another email with that question in it...if you're reading and you're curious, here's how I do it. First I make the last ring up to the final join, then I pull those stitches off the needle being careful to not pull the thread all the way through. Then I use a crochet hook to make the join and work the last stitches. Pull those stitches through, finish and close the ring. Yes, it can get fiddly and remember to join the working thread and not to let the stitches get twisted around. I think this is one of those times when the shuttle tatters have it much easier without that long needle in the way. I probably should add this little bit to the barefoot sandal pattern as that's why I get asked all the time. Yeah I'll do that today too.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Yesterday went off much as I predicted. I spent most of the day working on remaking a mask, catching up with comic book reading and my dvr. Then I was compelled to react to an email message which asked for more headpieces, so I began work on another one. This one will be in Ivory and brass, but I didn't get any pictures of the progress I've made so far. Instead I present kitties. I realize that this first picture probably does not require any explanation to other cat owners, but the story is still amusing so I shall tell it. See, I unloaded the dryer and the kitty JiJi climbs right in and settles down. After taking his photo I remove him and begin putting more wet clothing inside. He then proceeds to climb in again and cozy in a pile of wet clothes and I now completely understand how cats end up dried to death. Lucky for him, I'm observant.

We have a field trip this morning to a cheese factory, but then I hope to get back to the headpiece so I can get something made to show you. I've also taken to the idea of reworking my In Bloom ankle corset so it is an actual necklace. The inspiration for that idea came from the runway where the designer used the actual ankle corset as a necklace. I'm fairly certain that she just tied them on, but I think if I simply extend the design I can add a clasp. I might need to do a few more tweaks to get it to look nice or at least like I meant to do it, but since I have so many pairs made right now courtesy of the lost and found package, I can just experiment a bit with those until I have that aha! moment.

And since I can't just show one kitty, here's Halo not paying any attention to me. Yes, they are getting huge and are soon due for their spay and neuter appointments. The boys are much bigger than the girls but their rampant destruction is a family affair and they rip about the house with the power of a small tornado. Lucky for me they are still largely uninterested in my thread. Get a ball of yarn however and all bets are off. Alright, off to it then.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I really ought to have dolled out the new bits from yesterday over a few days, but no I posted them all at once. Where does that leave me today? Well, with nothing to show of course. I spent yesterday on an epic pile of laundry, another ant invasion that needed quelling and remaking a few recently sold things.
Well that and physically recuperating from 'playing' in three foot snow drifts. Apparently that sort of activity can put a strain on ones body unless you are under the age of 18, then you just have a damn fine time and bounce back the next day as if nothing occurred.

I even woke up late this morning and I still have orders that need packing to go out today and we're back to schooling as well. I guess what I'm saying is I have nothing of worth to say and much more that needs doing. Oh, but there was one question in the comments yesterday regarding Steampunk tatting. I have tried to make things more in that vein, but honestly my lace style will always be more in a NeoVictorian vein. This actually makes it perfect for accessorizing fancier or more dressed up Steampunk outfits. I've added gears and tatted in browns with brass hardware, but honestly I try to go as far as I can without getting to that 'trying too hard' point. I'm certain I have more pieces with that feel waiting to be created, but I'm happy just keeping the Wunderkammer up to satisfy my steampunk tastes.

Today will be just more of the same, so don't expect too much awesome tomorrow either.

Monday, February 21, 2011

So Much New For You

I am noting if not impressionable. Okay, maybe that's unfair, I'm not impressionable, but rather I tend to take suggestions to heart and run with them. To wit, Crazy Mom Tats! asks in the comments on Friday if I'd ever thought about making headpieces. The answer to the question is yes, I had, but there were others out there, I didn't have any chain laying about at the time, inspiration hadn't quite hit know the usually list of reason why one abandoned an idea. Well the suggestion came at the right time this go round, combined with elements I had on hand and a little inspiration via Crazy Mom's link and this was born. I must admit that getting the chain lengths right and the attachments to the lace perfect was much more of a challenge than I had imagined, but I think it turned out beautifully.

Of course I couldn't just stop at one, so I dug through my existing pendants to find something that would make a nice center piece. I had actually made up two of these embellished tenebrous pendants so I didn't even need to do an more tatting before I started to play with the chains again. The fist one is an adjustable piece with the lobster clasp at the back attacking directly to the chain. It also means that one can be worn as a necklace as well. This time I decided to make a fixed size with the chain that sits on the head. If I thought chain length was a difficult task with the first piece, this one took it way up a notch. I used a heavier chain and they all attach together in the back. I do have plans to try out a few more designs of these using more tatting, but really it's the chains that make them, so I probably won't do any made entirely of tatted chains.

Why though, did I have all these chains on hand in the first place. Well you remember on Friday I was still working on a new collar design and I went to the store Friday night to get more chains. I wanted nice light aluminum ones in gunmetal and bright silver so I could combine them to make this collar. I do like the way it turned out, but man was it a task to figure out all the attachments and lengths. What looks good lying down or even on my mannequin head does not necessarily look goo draping on a real neck. Of course after all that work I didn't write down a single measurement. So I guess all of these pieces, particularly the choker, are one of a kinds. Though it shouldn't be too hard to replicate the headpieces I guess.

So that and a snow trip was my weekend. The chains left my fingers sore and the snow trip left everything else sore. I won't even get into the epic bruise on my hip. Today is still a vacation day so I  likely won't get anything too interesting done, but who knows what inspiration your comments will give me today.

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Collar

It rained a ridiculous amount of the day yesterday and promises to continue to do so for a few more days at least. The weather has intensified the malaise I usually get when attention dies down and I must refocus. Of course it could just be that I've eaten too much Valentines candy and my tummy is unhappy with me, but malaise is so much more dramatic. Despite the mood , I was able to finish up and list the red mask. The modeled photos are really sub par, but I wasn't in the mood to bother with any real effort. I also haven't yet sold any masks with this design yet, but I really love making it.

Once that was done and I puttered around for a bit and did some laundry, I got back to the collar idea I mentioned yesterday. I really went back and forth on which design elements to use. i wanted it to be different from the throat corset piece, but I still wanted it to maintain that same sort of silhouette. I ended up using the same motif, a row of graduated split rings and daisy clusters. The first picture is just me holding bits I've already completed next to a daisy necklace to see if they would work as a focal piece.

Once I decided that this was going to work, I also realized that I hadn't done any of the math required to see if the length of this mishmash of elements would be right. So then out came the measuring tape and I spent way too long working out which bits would have to go where to make it a good length. It will lace up the back so there is a bit of wiggle room, but I still have a minimum length that I like these sort of pieces to be.

I still have some more tatting on the piece to do and I think I might do some more work around the daisies to stabilize the piece, but I'll figure that out as I go. Then once I have the lace finished, it'll be time to play with chains. I only have bright silver on hand, so I might head to the store this weekend to pick up some in varying shades, gun metal, black, etc. just so I can have a bit more variety to play with, but we'll see how the weekend plays.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dash Of Color

And here comes the info letdown. That's right, it appears that things have already run their course. I suppose it could be temporary, but mentions of the show have trickled down to almost nothing and well, I just don't have anything left to share that would induce congratulations. I am okay with this of course, but it greatly reduces the amount of things I have to blather on about.

I got a couple of pieces remade yesterday and then decided that there were a couple of bigger things I wanted to get made. First up, I opted to make a red version of the Such A Sad Love mask. I am embellishing it the same way I did the others starting with the sewn on crystals, though these red ones are ordering mistake. I'm still doing the embroidered edge in silver right now and then I'll add red seed bead dangles and tip them in some red swarovski crystals. Hopefully I'll get all that done early enough today to get photos taken of it to get it listed.

After this one, I want to work on a collar necklace. There have been a lot of people mistaking a manufactured lace piece from with attached chains from the runway show as mine. It wasn't, though I could see why you'd make that assumption since I have been known to drape chains off my lace. The designer worked with Armor Jewelry for that and the other chain pieces. That being said, I want to make my own version as well. I plan on starting with my throat corset piece and using a technique I used on another, never listed piece, I'll make the lace a little more open and then start with the chain bits. I have no interest in making a direct copy of the runway piece, heck I can't even see it clear enough to try, but the basic concept was already something I wanted to try and this was just my incentive to try it out.

I think after that I will get back to the shoulder piece. I have a feeling that I have already taken far too long for the original custom to still be interested, but all this runway business has gotten me back in an avant garde, high concept kind of mood. Don't worry, it can't last too long.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Well, That's Good

Well, I've got good news and...well some other good news. First off the much talked about lost package has finally wound its way back home with nary a door bell ring or knock. I found it leaning on my porch after I finished schooling yesterday. It was a tad banged up, but the contents were perfectly fine and there was no indication of why it went astray. The address remained correct and perfectly clear and written in pen next to it was the word 'refused'. I'd dwell on the mystery of the two weeks between the delivery confirmation and the refusal, but it doesn't seem much worth the energy as it's back now.

The other good news is the lovely article that posted yesterday on Geek Mom. It was requested by one of my good twitter friends, Brigid Ashwood. You really ought to check out her art as well. It is just beautiful. Anyway, the article is superbly written and just another little bit of exposure for me and the lace.

Oh, I almost forgot what was in the lost package. I had made up three pieces in ivory that I've never had in the shop so I got photos of them yesterday and got them all listed. My favorite is the ivory version of my newest mask, 'Such A Sad Love'. Instead of tigers eye beads, this one has pearls, but otherwise it has the same embellishments, crystals, seed beads and the metallic embroidered edge. I actually did remake this one for the second package without the embroidery, but since none of the masks were used you didn't get to see it. A nice side effect of having to remake this piece is I now have the design nice and memorized, so I might get a few more of these made up in different shades with different embellishments.

I do still have a few things I am remaking and no, I haven't gotten any offers since the runway show unless you count the creepy spam questions I've been getting on formspring the last couple of days. I am looking for a fairly high profile site to do a giveaway on, though the few I've looked as so far don't really fit what I'm looking for or I'm just not awesome enough or they only do giveaways for paid sponsors. Maybe I'll just wait until April when all my anniversaries are and just hold one here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shifting Focus

Ah, the day after, the morning after. I took some time out yesterday morning to toot my own horn by posting a link to yesterdays blog post in all my usual haunts and I saw a few more posts online about the show. The only one I will share with you this morning was by a fashion friend that I know from twitter. This is the only post so far where my lace is mentioned, she even kindly included a link to my shop. The blog post is here at Broke & Beautiful. I did also get an interview request from another friend, so when that is up, I will link you to that as well.

So what now? I am experiencing the inevitable letdown that occurs after one has focused so much energy on one singular event. This morning I find myself a little rudderless. I do have a few pieces left that need remaking and I am focusing on that for the time being. I don't want to dwell too long in the light of all the kind congratulatory comments or the fall to normality will be much more painful, so I'm just moving on now.

While I was in a holding pattern waiting for packages to arrive, I did make a couple of custom pieces I can share though. I think I mentioned that I had two headbands to make based on existing necklaces. The first here was any easy remake. I threw off an extra ring in the center of each motif rather than attach a bead, which is what I do with the necklace version. I also joined an extra picot on the small outside rings to keep the structure tighter.

The second one was based on my 'A Scandal In Bohemia' necklace, but rather than try to take the shape of the necklace, I just appropriated a single element from the design and repeated it into it's own undulating design. I  then wrapped the design around at the end for a nice place to add the ribbon. I keep saying that I've going to put these headbands in the shop, but the ones I have put in the shop seem to just sit there. I think it might just be a cost thing as they are just as expensive as the necklaces, but less ornate seeming in their use. Yeah, I don't know.

So the Wunderkammer is back and I am just slowly remaking a few things. The shop is pretty dead which always seems to happen when I have big news to share so I might play with some one off pieces though honestly, I'm not feeling the creative spark at the moment. I think I need a little refocusing first.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tatting Walks The Runway

I spent much of the weekend in nervous anticipation of this singular event. I kept thinking that this might be one of those moments that changes everything...or not. Whether or not it does a single thing for my personal career, one thing is absolutely true. Hand tatted lace has now walked the runway during New York Fashion Week. It is already this morning a small part of features on, and New York Fashion. So far, no one, but my friends has mentioned the lace accessories, but maybe still. So I present some pictures with my ankle corsets and necklaces. The masks weren't ultimately worn and you'll notice the ankle corsets also being used as necklaces, but you will notice them.

 Photos: Amanda De Simone /

There are also a couple of videos posted on my facebook page of the final walk and a link to one blogger review. I am of course stalking mentions of the show for more reviews and I will share them if I find any. Thank you to Sonia of Bensoni for her creative use of my lace, I totally want a few of those dresses and if you get a moment visit the links up top for more of the pieces in the collection.

Friday, February 11, 2011

And The Designer Is...

Okay, it's time to fess up in what I think is the only time I've blogged twice in one day. The second package I sent arrived safely this morning and believe it or not I received a USPS tracking email that said the first package I sent was just refused and is being returned to sender. Now, I have no idea who refused it because it wasn't the designer and I have no idea where it's been for two weeks, but it appears to be on its way home. Of course this time around I am not counting any chickens until they've hatched, we'll just wait and see if it arrives.

Right, the reveals. The designer I've been working with is Sonia Yoon of Bensoni. You can check out This article on Posh Glam where they talk about the inspiration for the collection. There's also another one on Racked with basically the same information and a short one with some of the other accessories they are using on Harper's Bazaar.

The show itself is sponsored by M.A.C. & Milk and will be held on Sunday evening at the Standard Hotel. As far as I can tell it will not be one of the shows streamed so we will all have to wait for fashion blogger coverage to share pictures of the event. I sent ankle corsets, masks and necklaces.

In all honesty, I am still set for yet another disaster to befall this opportunity so I won't likely be relaxing until it's over. I hope that she likes all the pieces and uses them all in the show and I truly hope that her collection is a smashing success. Aside from all this lost package nonsense and the fact that I had to remake everything in three days, it has been a pleasure making pieces for show. Keep those fingers crossed!

Is It There Yet?

I have been obsessively tracking my new package since it left yesterday. In fact before UPS picked it up from the store I was on the edge of an anxiety attack. Of course I say that as someone who has never actually had one of those before, so let me back up and just say I was stressed out until I finally got the updated tracking that it was on its way. I even woke up at an even more ungodly hour this morning and immediately checked the tracking again, it just left New Jersey by the way, which seems to indicate that it is on schedule to arrive by noon like it said it would. Will I relax now? Not a chance. In fact I'm not certain I will be able to relax until after everything is said and done. So If I could go back to bed now and wake up on say, Monday...yeah, that's be great.

Seriously though, I had the worst time staying on task yesterday even though I had plenty of things that needed doing. I've got that, so behind I don't even know where to start, thing going on. I got one custom piece done and I've been trying to get things remade. If I actually finish a pair of ankle corsets today, I'll start work on two new custom pieces that are adaptions of necklaces into headbands. I did this once before with the Victorious necklace in gray and the customer returned for more saying that she loaned hers to her stepdaughter who says she feels like a princess when she wears it. Isn't that the sweetest compliment? I should have started it yesterday, but that focus issue made designing a bad idea. I couldn't image what I would have come up with in that state.

I will likely either blog again later today or tomorrow when I know how the box of tatting has fared. If all goes well, I'll post the details regarding the runway show for you to follow if you wish. If things go awry, well...I'll post about that as well. Again, I really appreciate all the crossed fingers and well wishes from everyone. You guys are truly awesome and I'm so grateful that you stick around to read my nonsense.

Update: I received word from the designer that the new package has arrived. I'll post more details later today or tomorrow morning.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

No Rest For The Wicked

Knot by knot, ring by ring, I got everything I could made up yesterday. I even managed to complete a few extra things I didn't originally thing I would be able to. It was packed, I printed a shipping label (don't ask how much, it will make you cry), then I dropped it off just before the UPS store closed. It is again out of my hands as it travels across the country today, hopefully landing safely in the designers hand early tomorrow. I just hope that the Universe really isn't trying to keep me down and everything is smooth sailing from this point. Fingers crossed everybody, fingers crossed.

As soon as I got back home and announced to the Internet that everything was shipped, I seemed to immediately start receiving custom order requests. Although to be fair, my in-box has been uncharacteristically full lately anyway. The busier I've gotten, the more questions and requests for help I have received. It reminds of a familiar phenomenon I like to call flood or famine, also known as when it rains, it pours. Along with at least a dozen pieces that need remaking, I have at least two custom pieces to whip up. I had gotten some stock made on ankle corsets, but guess where those just went, so I really need to get those made as well. Now, I want to be very clear...I am not complaining. I am more than willing to work hard to grow and succeed, but I would not be human if I didn't also take a few minutes to reflect and perhaps vent a bit about the timing.

So the Wunderkammer will continue to rest the remainder of the week, loaning me the extra time I would have spent curating it. I will continue to be a bit of a quiet mouse online and I will hopefully get the bulk of this mess cleared up by next week and be ready for an entirely new mess. Deep breath...and begin.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Well, my shoulder is killing me and so many muscles ache that I'm starting to feel a little like a one woman sweatshop, but I am on track to finish up at least one major portion of the lost shipment. I do feel bad that I had to let the Wunderkammer blog go for a while and I've barely made a peep online other than these morning blog posts and a few dropped links, but I should have the new package out by Thursday morning. Sure, I'll stress about that one arriving and then I'll stress about the runway show that's on Sunday and then I will have to get to work remaking all the replacement pieces I marked as custom so I could send them. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I should be back to normal in about a week...I hope.

Again I really want to thank all of you here as well as the facebook and twitter friends who have offered up so many supportive words. Some days I wonder why I spend so much of my time online and then I have days like these and I am reminded that support can come from so many more people and sometime you need all the encouragement you can get. As soon as I'm certain that the shipment has safely arrived, I will announce the where and exactly when the show will be. So far it doesn't look like it will be streaming, but if everything goes well from here on out, I will definitely be following the coverage...I am however not counting my chickens yet.

I still have much work to do, so I'm off to start the day and I am still accepting good thoughts, mojo, wishes and prayers...whatever you've got, I'll take. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Into The Light

Thanks in no small part to your many supportive comments, I have climbed out from under the rock. Don't get me wrong, the package is still missing and I am still devastated in particular by the loss of this mask. So let us all say a fond farewell to the missing mask. Perhaps this is only goodbye until we meet again or perhaps some idiot nicked the package you were in and dumped you not knowing your worth. At least I have pictures to remind me.

Well, around nine or ten yesterday morning, I sucked it up and realized that while I have to accept that there is nothing I can do about the missing package that doesn't mean that it is the end of this journey. I pulled myself together, took inventory of what I did have made and sent a message back to the designer offering to replace what I can with other styles. Now, I know some of you have worried that this is an elaborate scam to get free goods out of me, but honestly she was as worried about the missing package as me, never asked for her money back and even expressed that she had no more budget to pay for more pieces when I offered replacements. I should get some of my money back from the USPS claim that I can't file for like 20 days, but that's really not the point here. I was offered an opportunity that someone like me is unlikely to be offered again and I think I would be a fool not to pursue that as long as I can. No one ever made it by giving up...unless they have, but they shouldn't get the point.

So I am working like a madwoman to see how many pieces I can get done by Thursday when I will overnight...UPS time, all the pieces for the show. The wunderkammer will rest and I will tat all day even during school time and hopefully I can replace much of the original order. I am still holding out hope that the original package will be found, but as someone once said, 'You can't put the shit back in.' All we can do is move forward with the knowledge painfully earned. So I'm off to tat.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Horror

So I was all ready to write up this morning about how I finished the commissioned belly dance inspired piece. I was going to talk about how I melded the various elements and how it jingled relentlessly as I created it. It was to be a fine and pleasant blog post forming as I finished the piece yesterday and then the worst email ever.

Okay, in the grand scheme of things I get that this isn't really all that important,but for me, the bottom dropped out. The New York designer I have been working with emailed to say that my package had not arrived. What?!? I tracked that thing obsessively and the bloody USPS said that it arrived on the 31st. Before you ask it was a big Priority mail box and it was insured, but not signed for. After a bit of back and forth with the tracking information and double checking that the address was accurate, it was, it is left up to her to see if she can find where the package got less than a week.

So I start this week with a horrible feeling of dread. There is nothing I can do either. I can't possibly remaking the contents of that package in time and to make matters worse, it contains my one of a kind, irreplaceable masquerade mask that I was loaning for the show. I am truly devastated, my stomach is in knots and I could barely sleep last night as my mind wandered from one awful scenario to another awful scenario. This, my friends is why I never share good news, because somewhere deep down, I fear that this sort of thing is inevitable. So, I am hoping beyond hope that it did arrive safely and just got misdirected to the wrong desk, but after a week I know that it's unlikely. I know it's my own fault for getting my hopes up, for trusting the postal service and for assuming that the tracking was accurate. So there is likely no fashion show for me and I will slink back under my rock and try to not let that stop me from getting other work done. I have the sad.

Friday, February 4, 2011


There is definitely something to be said for deadlines or maybe I'm just the sort of person who needs them. I managed to stay on task much of the day. I did get distracted by shoe shopping again, but I finally settled on a nice light beige least I hope that's what color they turn out to be so they work for photos. I managed to get all but two pieces in queue made up when I got yet another 'lost package' message.

This holiday seasons aftermath has brought me at least three missing international packages. Luckily they have all been smaller pieces so replacing and refunding hasn't been all that painful, but they are making me seriously reconsider shipping outside the country. The option is to jack up the shipping costs to a more traceable method and pass those costs onto the customer. I suppose that might work out just fine when shipping really expensive things, but I certainly wouldn't want to pay $10 or $15 shipping on a $9 pendant. Yeah, I don't know what I'll end up doing. I'm probably just venting here to get it off my chest and won't change a thing, but it does make me wonder what larger companies do when shipments go missing. I ordered supplies from a smaller one and they were delivered elsewhere and the company just told me to go to the post office to track it down. Of course I didn't and they finally arrived about a month later. Is that standard practice, to just tell the customer, 'oh, well, not our fault' and move on. That just doesn't feel right to me even though it's not strictly my fault.

Anyway, I will finish up the stocking today and I've got a few ideas brewing in my head that just might burst free before I start the next round of stocking pieces. I want to get some of the masks listed as custom made up and ready to ship as well since Mardi Gras is just around the corner. Thought o be honest I don't sell all that many for this holiday. Maybe they're not glitzy enough for that, still better safe than sorry.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tatting Gets Married

I lazily meandered though yet another day of stock making. Rather than stay on task though, I went back and forth to a couple of different projects. I spent a little time working out a potential pattern for the new belly dance piece. I decided to marry two pieces together for the right bold size. Then decided that the top edge would need something a bit different and decided to add different motifs along it to give it a bit of a patchwork or layering effect. In the picture the bits are just lying together  so I can see how it might all work. What I will need to do next is work out the placement of the coins and bells and once that's done, work up the final piece. I still need to get a neck measurement for the perfect fit first though.

I also worked on one solid failure of a one off. I saw a necklace on a TV show that I liked and I tries to emulate it, but I made some poor design decisions and scrapped it. I might make the necessary adjustments to save it, but it's not really a priority. I need to get back to the stock work, but without a looming deadline to keep me focused, I can't, well...stay focused. I also got an order yesterday so I allowed myself to be distracted remaking bits that probably didn't really need remaking. I think I need to just set my own deadline and stick to it. Yes, that's what I'll do. The remaking needs to be done by Friday night. That's two days Pam...get to work.

The giveaway closed last night with two winners picked after 135 entries. I remember now why I do these so infrequently, they are exhausting. You wouldn't think so, but they are a lot more work that they are probably worth. I do like to do them though to say thank you and get people excited and it doesn't hurt that they generally attract new fans and you know how much I love attention. Speaking of attention, I got a couple new questions to answer in yesterday comments. I've written too much already today to tackle them, but I promise sometime next week, I will tell those stories for you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Yep, it's another of those, typing out of habit days, as I have little to report. I been spending much of my time working on stock and worrying about things I cannot control. In fact so many things have been dancing around in my brain that I fear I am clenching my jaw again. This happened a couple of years ago and combined itself with a dying tooth to provide me with much pain and suffering for a few months at least. This time I think it is just the stress so I'm trying to keep massaging my jaw and relax, but it's been giving my a subtle but persistent headache as well. Seriously the next two weeks need to just scoot on by now.

Reliving the jaw pain took me back though and I remembered that I used to do these personal reveal posts. I would answer some question no one ever asked, but I stopped doing them long ago. Since it strikes me that many of you just recently found me and digging through over 700 posts is not practical, I thought I would provide a link to the last one I remember doing. It contains in the first paragraph links to all the other ones...I think. So if you were curious about the hair, tattoos or what other talents I used to think I had and you have some time to kill, start here. I apologize in advance for subjecting you to these stories all at once, but originally they were doled out slowly in small doses.

I should be finishing up with my current stocking project today or tomorrow and then I will get on the belly dance inspired piece. I've come up with a couple of different ideas to try out, but as always, I hope the first one I try works. Also, I will be picking a winner in the facebook giveaway this evening sometime, so if you haven't stopped by, you still have a bit of time. I got enough entrants to add a second gift certificate so the odds improved dramatically. There is very little chance of reaching the third though. It still cracks me up how few people enter to win free stuff when there is so little effort involved, but no skin off my nose.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

1000 Strong

I tracked that package all day to reassure myself that it would make it safely to New York and it apparently did. I of course haven't heard anything regarding it yet, but most people don't stop whatever they're doing and say they 'got it'. So now I wait.

While I am waiting though I have plenty of work to get on with. I have stocking in anticipation of event reaction and I got a most interesting commission request. How interesting, you ask? Well, very. Again, you know me and spilling details, but I'll give you some broad strokes. I received a message from a Seattle based sculptor. She approached me about using some of my lace for a very interesting concept piece. I am terribly exciting to have any part is her art and am awaiting further dimension details before I jump into work. I shall share more details on this project as it evolves providing that this one doesn't fall apart either. First fashion, now the art world...I don't know how they're finding me, but this year seems to be starting off with a bang.

In other news, look, I bought a white shirt just for listing photos and they look so much better with the white jewelry. I'm still desperately searching for the perfect off white shoes to do pictures of white and Ivory ankle corsets, but apparently I have expensive shoe taste and since I know I will only wear them for this purpose, I need them to not only have the right silhouette for the corsets, but be under like $40. I also couldn't find any in store and I am weary of the colors online being what they appear. Usually it's easy to online shop shoes, because I only ever buy black ones and those are always true to color.

Also, I just broke 1000 fans/likes on my facebook page so I started a giveaway over there. It won't close until Wednesday evening, so you have plenty of time to get in on it, if you like. Rather than offer up a particular piece, I'm offering a gift certificate/credit to the shop for $50. There will be more credits adding to the pool if I get more people to enter. You can find the direct giveaway thread here. I know a lot of you aren't facebook people, but don't worry if you don't want to play over there, my 5th anniversary on etsy is coming up in a couple of months and I will do something interesting for that, provided that I'm not ridiculously swamped. No, I'll do something either way, 5 years deserves acknowledgment whether I'm bored or busy.