Thursday, March 31, 2011

Okay, It's Thursday

Again, there was more assembly line tatting, but now that I am working on completing pieces, I have an estimated time to total completion. This means I know how many pieces need to be done each day and I can actually stop working on the project when those are done for the day. Good thing too because I was hammered with custom order requests yesterday evening. Nothing too big or complicated, but there were more than a couple of them at one time. This is made even more odd since I hadn't had an etsy sale in five days and have merely been renewing, not remaking anything.

The super secret package is on its way to arrive in L.A. today. I am crossing my fingers that it not only arrives safely, but it happily received and used as discussed. I hope that everything works out well and I am able to share the news in a few weeks, but if not at least I got paid right?

I'm afraid I took no pictures yesterday to share, so this is about it for me. I will be working on the large order and I might sneak in a bit of the custom work in the middle. I also need to get to major clean mode on the house for my youngest daughter has a birthday and party this weekend. As you might imagine, I have not been the most diligent house cleaner in recent weeks so my work these next few days is cut out for me. Oh and that thing I thought might be a cold or allergies, well it's allergies and despite antihistamine intervention, they are kicking my butt. Now, I wish it had been a passing cold...stupid Spring, with all your pollen and crap. Anyway, I'm off to it again.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday, Is It

Another day of tat, tat, tatting. Around mid afternoon I did have a bit of a scare regarding my secret project. Thier credit card wasn't working in paypal and there was a tense hour or so of trying to find an alternate method of payment where I was almost certain that I had shot myself in the foot by insisting on up front payment. Then the simple error was discovered and everything is right back on track. I honestly think the gods do this to me on purpose just to make me appreciate all the good things a little more. A little extra sweating keeps you from resting on your laurels I suppose. I have sussed out after yesterdays work on the large order that it will take at least two more weeks to complete the order unless I develop super powers...which could happen, but is quite unlikely, so here's more kitten pictures.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

And Tuesday

I'm trying to decide this morning whether I am sick or not. The other option is that the instant Spring that sprouted up Sunday after weeks of rain has given me an accelerated allergies. My throat hurts, My nose is both stuffed and runny, there is sneezing and coughing as well as an accompanying headache.  Either way it is not a good morning as I have no time nor patience for either condition. It would be nice to know which medication is more likely to work though. Oh, well, what are you gonna do.

I did of course spend all of yesterday tatting And crocheting actually. One of the three pieces I'm making multiples of is the barefoot sandals. This isn't even all of the straps I still had like 20 more to make at this point. Oh, and I know you can't tell, but they are sitting atop the baggies that contain all the other bits for the other pieces. I've got everything in a freezer bag right now as I attempt to keep seven cats worth of fur off them.

I managed to finish all the various bits yesterday so it's onto the main construction of the pieces. This part should be slightly more satisfying as each piece I cut and tie is actually a finished item, but I fear this is also the part where time is going to really start dragging. The bits were quick to make even if there were hundreds of each of them. These are all substantial sections of tatting I need to do, so again I leave you knowing I won't be chatty again for quite some time. I miss being chatty.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hey Monday

I suppose I am left with a little time to update you on the state of my little world. Friday I was able to wrap up the super secret project. All that remains is to be paid and ship them out though it may still be quite some time before I know the full outcome of the project and I fear I cannot share until then. Once the final stitch was completed on that project it was back to working full steam on the large 60 piece order.

I spent most of Saturday running errands with the family and tatting. Me and the husband did go out with friends that evening for some birthday celebrations, but I actually brought my tatting with me. What? I knew we would all just be sitting about chatting and laughing, so I thought I could get a little work done at the same time. We had a wonderful and amusing time as we always do with this group. We stayed out exceptionally late...for us anyway and after a whole four and a half hours later, I was up and working again.

Sunday saw the weather finally change back into some semblance of Spring after weeks of nearly continuous rain, so we opted for a little yard work. Pulled some weeds, planted some flowers and tried to get the lawn into some order before next weekend when the youngest will have her fourth birthday. Though I woke up sore from the effort it was a nice little shift from the non sop tatting which I of course went straight back to just as soon as I have changed clothes. Honestly it seems to be going quicker that I anticipated, but I can't really be certain of that since I'm doing the whole assembly line thing. I'm trying to get them done as quickly as possible so I can get the obligation off my back and stop ignoring my shop.

Speaking of my shop, I did notice that over the weekend I passed 8000 people adding my shop as a favorite. I know, it's just a number, but it makes me smile a bit to know that many people have popped by the shop and bookmarked it for later. Yes, I get this way every time I hit a round number.

Anyway, it is of course yet another day of production tatting mixed with the usual blend of dishes, home schooling and other random household tasks. Hope you enjoyed the kitten pictures because there may be more of those days as the week burns me out again. I know, I know...I asked for all of this and I am grateful, just a little tired.

Friday, March 25, 2011


I tatted all day, here's some kittens.

That is all.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Busy, Busy

Well, let's see...I finished up all three new designs for the super secret project and have begun making the multiples required of me. I went ahead and stepped in it by designing one of the pieces with a time consuming clover, so it is taking a bit longer to make than I anticipated. I suppose in the heat of furious designing I didn't realize that reproducing it over and over was going to drive me crazy.

I'm feeling a bit disconnected as I am of course spending way less time meandering the Internet in favor of what I imagine is like 14 hours a day of tatting. It would be more, but I have stopped to eat and take care of the children's needs upon demand. I have also been forcing myself to stop at about 8 every evening so I can settle before bed. If I tat too close to bedtime, I get busy brain and then I can't sleep.

I wish I had something more interesting to share with you, but given my current workload, I'm a whole bunch of boring. I really can't even show you the designs I'm creating as I don't want to spoil any potential surprise. I swear I'll take some cat pictures today or something, so I at least have some pictures tomorrow. I am also taking a break from the Wunderkammer for a spell as it takes more time and brain power than I need to apply elsewhere, but hopefully I'll get enough done in the next couple of days that I can get back to it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Holy crap people. okay, so perhaps I have not been starting my posts in a dignified manner lately, but as I said at the end of yesterdays post, it's been really weird in my world. I started the day with low expectations, but as soon as I was out of the shower I had an email from the folks with the large order and they agreed to my half now, half when completed scenario and made the first payment. I went straight to work on the 60 piece order. Yes, I said 60 pieces. Just like the fashion show, I have adopted assembly line creation. It is 20 each of three different items, but they are all made up of several motifs, so I've making all the small bits first. This of course means that nothing will be completed for a spell, but as soon as all the bits are done the finished pieces should fly off the needle.

Then...I got an email I didn't actually expect to receive. Just after lunch, I received a reply from the epic project people. After a few more emails back and forth, it became clear they they were in fact going to move forward with my work. I'm still waiting for payment, but that didn't stop me from getting started as the deadline looms. Oh and what they need from me was actually more than the person I have been corresponding with thought initially. So far I have already created one completely new design and am about halfway on the second. I will have one more new design to create and I have to make multiples of each. You don't know how glad I am that I jumped the gun on the 60 piece order. I had finished enough of it prior to being paid that I have a bit of a time cushion built up. Still, I should be ridiculously busy for some time.

It is also driving me crazy that I can't tell anyone what I'm making or who I'm making it for. I just have to keep reminding myself that this too could fall apart and telling people will only make the fall worse. So I shall treat it like a pregnancy, I won't tell anyone until I'm showing, just in case. I've already put a notice up in the shop that all custom orders will have an extra month of lead time and I'll try to get a minute today to adjust all the custom listings to note that as well. I thought about taking them down entirely, but I don't want these side projects to have too big an effect on my everyday business. I still have hundreds of ready to ship pieces, even if I can't remake anything for awhile I should still look pretty well stocked.

Well, I think I've reached the point of ramble and I really don't have any time for that sort of nonsense. So off I go, wish me speedy fingers and much luck!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Dude... I wish that I could tell you whose people I got an email from last night, but I can't. I will try to explain as cryptically as possible though. I was presented with an opportunity of quite possibly epic proportions, by people of similar proportions. Now, I am fairly certain that as I write that this opportunity will pass me by because when it comes down to it, I am not a fashion designer. Sure, I play at it a bit, but I do it in my own way. I don't sketch designs, so I can't provide them those. Instead, I make crap up as I go, but you know that. I start with a concept and I occasionally grab a box full of tatting and start playing with it in different configurations to cement an idea, but it's nothing I can share in any real informative way. There is also a very short deadline on the project meaning I would have to fly by the seat of my pants anyway. I did email them back with as much detail as I could muster, because I have to at least try to take advantage, so we'll see.

The most incredible part of this likely passing opportunity is that it means I have been seen by people I never would have imagined would notice my work. That, in and of itself, is amazing. Hell, I thought the email couldn't be real at first with it's confidentiality clause at the end, but a few minutes of searching the details online led me to believe it was. So now you know less than I'd like to share, but maybe in a few weeks I'll be able to come back and tell you what it would have been had it worked out. Yes, I am aware that it could indeed work out, but I'd rather not gets my hopes up quite yet.

In other news, I still haven't heard back from the large order people I mentioned yesterday, but I am still working on that, just in case. I'll send them a message today to 'touch bases'. I am not going to get too ahead of myself on this one, especially with this new thing looming. I did also promise you a picture of the black custom mask that is going in the mail today. Sure, it's a bad picture as I waited until this morning to take it. It's headed out today and then I am caught up on all outstanding orders...except for these two projects standing firmly in the 'potential' column. Boy, things have been weird in my world lately...really, epically weird.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Holy ceiling batman...wait, that should be holey ceiling. Indeed, we woke up Sunday morning to the ceiling of our bedroom dripping water. Now we knew there was a leak somewhere in the roof above us, but it never seemed to make it all the way through the drywall and we could never find the source in the attic. This was all before we experienced this most recent rain storm, set to continue for the next entire week mind you. Sigh. Anyway, we are lucky to have a contractor friend who walked us through the best way to deal with this at 6:30 in the morning. Then I had the pleasure of climbing into the attic repeatably throughout the day to empty the bowl catching water from the now painfully obvious leak in the roof. This behavior will have to continue until the sky stops falling long enough that the source of the leak on the two story, tile roof can be located and fixed. Sound fun right? Yeah, I'm all sore from all the climbing and crawling this morning, but at least I do in fact have a roof over my head, so complaint over.

Do you remember recently I mentioned a large order request which I replied to with a rather large shipping quote and rather long completion time estimate? Well, I thought I had scared them off, but apparently it was just that they had 'thought' they had responded and it didn't go through. So I spent much of Sunday evening sussing out the details on that. I am still waiting for further correspondence as the last thing I had to debate was she intended to pay for everything when they are ready to ship and I think that won't work for me. I figure I should at least get some payment up front on an order that is likely to take me at least a month to complete. I keep thinking about spending all that time working on it only to have her change her mind because I took too long or something. Anyway, I think I didn't get a response only because it was really late in her time zone and she likely got off the computer, so hopefully we'll get that all worked out today so I can get to work on the single largest order I've ever had...or not.

One last thing this morning. On Saturday while the kids were with Grandma, we went out to eat, a rare occurrence, and on the way back, we stopped at Michael's. I had sold all the 'For Japan' medallions and I felt like I could sell more, if I had the bits to make more. So I dug through the clearance bins and came out with a few more dragon charms. I went ahead and re listed the medallion as soon as I got home. I haven't yet sold any more, but now I can sell as many as there are people who want one to help donate. I sent all the money I had already raised to the Red Cross on Saturday morning after the fourth had sold and I hold I get to do that again.

So today, it's working on the beginning bits of the large order, just in case everything works out. They are pieces I make often so if it doesn't work out, I'm just ahead of the curve stocking the shop and I'll move on to remaking some other pieces. Of course if things do get worked out for the large order, you may have to say goodbye to my creativity for  spell, but I think we'll all live.

Friday, March 18, 2011


From a day full of milestones to a day full of, well just working. I finished tatting up the custom mask as well as the matching necklace, but I still have the embellishing to do on the mask. It's one of my newest masks, 'Such a Sad Love' in black and tatting it is just the first step. It needs crystals sewn in, embroidery around the edge and the beaded dangles ending in crystals. I didn't always make it in that order, but eventually I understood that adding bits that swing first makes everything harder. Yes, I'm aware you probably didn't need that bit of advice.

Toward the end of the afternoon I also sold one more of the 'For Japan' Medallions so once the mask is wrapped, I am pleased to be making another of those.  I did re list it again and I do hope to sell the last two I can make, allowing me to donate $120 to the Red Cross. I have made more than a few things over the years that were used to earn money for causes, but this is the first time, I am personally doing the donating and it feels rather nice. Of course I would go broke doing it all the time, but maybe a little more often anyway.

I'm afraid I don't have much else to share as it was definitely a production day. I will try to remember to get a few pictures of this custom mask before it's out the door to show you though. The day after a milestone or anniversary is always a bit of a let down even when little fuss is made. I always need to spend some time looking at numbers, evaluating and figuring out what the next goal to work toward is. I find creating finish lines, no matter how small or insignificant, goes a long way toward keeping me motivated and moving forward. A friend of mine on twitter commented the other day that I possessed the qualities of "Persistence, patience, focus" and that she found those qualities inspiring. Well, it's those finish line that keep me there...well that and the ever present childhood dream of one day being famous. Well then, I'm off to make goals, live famously and probably do the dishes and I think scoop the kitty litter too.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Well, What Do You Know

What a nice and unexpected day. I began the day on task remaking a sold mask like a good girl, but something has been nagging at me for days. I wanted to do something for Japan. Sure I could have just donated some money, but I wanted to do something a little better and yesterday morning it came to me. Don't just donate a portion of sales of existing items, but make something just for Japan as a small token of support and donate the entire sales amount. So, I came up with this medallion. I worked extra quick to get it done, photographed and listed even before I started homeschooling for the day.

During school time I got an order for a custom mask and a choker that must be made and shipped out in time for next weekend, so right after school I went to work on those. I was also humbled to see how many people had re tweeted my message about the 'For Japan' Medallion on twitter. It was also quickly added to two treasury collections on etsy highlighting donation listings for Japanese relief efforts. It was really important to me that it didn't get lost in the shuffle. We used to host Japanese exchange students every summer as did my husband's family, so we have a lot of friends there and the first gifts I received from those students began a lifelong love of their culture, both the historic and the modern. Not to mention so much of our entertainment is a product of their creativity.

Then it was off to an open house for my daughter at the bookstore when I got the email that the medallion had sold(yes, I check my phone everywhere) and it was my 1500th sale as well! The medallion is re listed as I have enough materials to make 3 more of them and the more of them I sell the more I can donate to the Red Cross. So if you don't have donation fatigue yet consider picking up a medallion or one of the many other handmade bits on etsy whose proceeds are being donated. Alright the PSA is over.

So today, I have a mask to finish and necklace to start. Hopefully, I'll also being taking breaks to remake the medallion as well and I almost forgot today is the blogs third birthday as well! Happy bloggerversary to me! Well, crap...I had planned to start some sort of giveaway today and end it with the Wunderkammer's 2nd birthday which is about a week or so away, but I completely dropped the ball, lost the plot, forgot all about it. So I guess instead I'll just wait for the my 5th anniversary on etsy, which is next month, to do a little something special for those of you that read my ramblings. Yeah, then I can actually plan something rather than toss it together at the last minute. Since it is today though I send out a hearty thanks for reading, commenting and generally supporting me and my art, Thanks!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Let's Try That Again

Ah, much better right? What's silly is I had originally thought about this configuration for  the necklace, but then decided it might hang better the other way. Well, it turns out the metal rings solve that problem easily, weighting the piece just enough that it hangs perfectly. I guess this is a lesson in go with your gut.

After I got the photos taken for the listing I started getting antsy to clean things up around here instead of tat. No, I don't know what's wrong with me. I blame the Spring weather and open windows. Of course the rain will be here today so hopefully that should quell my urge to clean and I can finish the mask I started yesterday.

Alright, I just have one vent I need to get out before I get going for the day. If you're an Etsy seller, buyer or follow any of them on say Twitter, you've likely heard about the recent privacy issues that have arisen because of there attempts at socializing shopping on the site. Some of the articles written about the issue have overblown it a bit, or rather have caused people to overreact a bit. My opinion on the core issue is that Etsy was created by a group of Internet savvy, forward thinking folks. They know they must continue to evolve to survive even if that means a few missteps along the way. They also tend to think that more people think like them than actually do. Did they step in it? Oh, yes, but only because they were not more transparent with *all* their customers. No matter what you think of the changes, if they had taken more time to convey those changes in advance and given people the opt in/opt out options earlier and with reminders, they would only be dealing with squeaky wheels and not articles on Ars Technica and Forbes.

Honestly though, that's not what I wanted to vent about. What is eating at me are those squeaky wheels. Seriously, some people who I normally like are driving me up the worst wall. They are constantly talking about this and basically chanting at etsy, 'see, we told should have listened to us' over and over again. They either already get it or they don't, your constant barrage is accomplishing nothing, but annoying everyone else.  They are using this as an opportunity to convince others to defect to other sites. There has even been talk of boycotting etsy. Really. Personally I feel that sort of move does nothing but hurt people like,

Am I an etsy cheerleader? Maybe a little. I wouldn't be where I am now without them and the venue they created. More importantly though, I see their point of view. I'm not down with the whole social shopping thing, but I'm not all that social, so I changed my preferences accordingly. My purchases are private as are my favorites. I'm also not all that concerned with people knowing my real name and associating that with my etsy name. Everyone knows my real name and if you don't, a quick google search solves that in a few seconds. So no, I'm not leaving etsy over this. I've worked too long and hard to make a name for myself there and this too shall pass. Yes, I have thought about opening a second shop at Art Fire or a few other places, but it's not really worth the extra effort to maintain more inventory. If I ever leave it will be for my own store front and I don't think that will be happening any time soon either.

Vent over. Here's hoping for a whine free day, tatting and moving on.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Not What I Meant

Done. It took me much of the day to finish up the pile of Neon Yellow tatting, but I managed to capture the color almost as it is in real life. The yarn/thread is really very soft and though it worked up ever so slightly smaller than size 10 thread, I was able to make some minor adjustments to keep the pieces the same size. I did have to work slower to ensure that I didn't pull too tight, but it didn't snag as much as I thought it would and after pressing it looks pretty good. Also. you'll be glad to know they are free from all unpleasant smells. I guess acrylic doesn't hold onto smells quite as fiercely as natural fibers.

Now, I should have started remaking a mask as soon as I was finished, but instead I went back to tatting around rings. I though it would be nice to do some smaller pieces that could easily be remade and were meant to be symmetrical. Of course as soon as I post a picture of what I came up with two problems arose. One, it apparently looks like a Mickey Mouse head. This was not intentional, but now that it has been pointed out to me, that is all I can see. Two, it's not actually symmetrical. I thought I had the stitch counts the same on both side rings, but I was off by one, which I really ought to have noticed. So to solve both problems. I will just remove one side ring and redo it replacing it a bit lower on the side to solve the first problem. No, I don't have anything against Mickey, but his head was certainly not what I was going for.

So, I guess I'll be fixing that necklace this morning and then I'll get back to the art of remaking. Then I think, more rings...maybe in gray next time.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Monday

Finally Saturday afternoon brought the thread I needed for a special order. It was chosen by the customer on ebay and I just picked it up myself to avoid all the extra shipping. I also learned a new lesson, even when the link to thread is provided by the customer, read the entire listing before purchasing. When I opened the thread/yarn I smelled the ball and was greeted with the smell of cigarette smoke. Yuck. I went back and read the listing and it was clearly mentioned that it did not come from a smoke free home. If I had read better, I could have looked elsewhere for the same stuff, but I didn't. Luckily as I am working with the thread the smell is quickly dissipating. Hopefully a quick wash will take any lingering small away and my lesson has been learned.

I should have the last piece in that order done today and I'll try to get some pictures to show you this thread/yarn. I've been trying to take pictures, but the color is just not showing up the way it really looks. It is neon yellow and ridiculously bright. It is also acrylic and works closer to yarn than thread which I don't enjoy, but I persevere for the good customer.

The only other thing to share this weekend is the inclusion of my barefoot sandal tutorial on the Instructables email newsletter. Views of the tutorial were already good, but this shot them right past 10,000. I've also received a few messages on etsy of thanks. My favorite ones are those that tell me that they have given up on tatting and that my tutorials got them to try again. More thread addicts into the fold my friends. Well, that's it really. I did respond to the large order inquiry with the huge shipping quote I got for UPS as well as a long time estimate for completion and I haven't heard back. I might have scared them away, but honestly that to rushing myself and settling for 'maybe it'll get there' shipping just to snag the order. So if they do respond at least it will be on my terms.

Damn time change has the day already wasting away on me, so I best get to it. Happy Monday all.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Instructable

I decided to try and stay on task and get some sold things remade and since I was starting with the barefoot sandals, I kind of veered off task a bit to take pictures of the creation. I have been meaning to do an Instructable on them for quite some time but I never seemed to make the time. Why would I bother doing an Instructable when I have already posted the pattern? Well, it's because the audience there is completely different from my usual tatting friends. Doing these allows me to introduce tatting to new people in a much more visual way. I can step out processes like joining together a first and last ring which seems to stump folks. Heck doing these is what got me to make the short videos and those have sucked in countless new tatters so it really is a win.

You can find it here and the wonderful people over at Instructables have featured the tutorial on there main page as well. This just exposes it to way more views and again that's wonderful. Of course this does not help me remake pieces that need remaking, so I must get back to that today. I also had a request this morning for a great many pieces to send overseas. I'm a little hesitant as it is a very large order with a small discount I offered before I knew just how large the order would be. There is also the matter of shipping all this stuff. I've not worried about my small packages being considered a commercial shipment before, but this one seems to cross that line and I'm not certain I know how to handle all that. Of course if I ship with UPS, I think they handle all that business and I just have a huge shipping cost which I would of course have the buyer pay...maybe I can do it. I think there is more thinking involved here.

I also got the two pieces with bad pictures listed with better pictures yesterday. The first one up there is the redone piece. I really am so much happier with the way it hand now. I still has the same belly dance flavor with the bells, but now it's much more wearable and supported by the extra chains. The other is also listed and it too has a nice weight to it, but still hangs very well. I suppose I've just gotten better at assembling chains and my tatting over the past few years. It was bound to happen, practice and all that. Anyway, I'm going to go stress over that crazy order and get the day started.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Second Look

Up late again. You see the kitties who normal rouse me from slumber around 4:30 or so have a new toy. Their grandma bought them a new scratching tree and rather than bother me awake in the morning, they play on that in our bedroom so I sleep away like a normal person. Problem is, I have things that need doing early in the morning before the children rise and I hope they get over the new toy smell soon so I can get back to my routine.

I didn't get a thing remade yesterday like I had hoped, nor did I play with the rings I was so desperate to find. Instead I worked on a one off whose initial design came to be in the morning as I was waking. I got this resin piece on clearance and after much design tweaking, I managed to get the tatting to lay behind it like a piece of filigree. I really had no preconceived notion of the rest of the piece, so I just grabbed some more clearance bits and started piecing them together. Since I wasn't in the mood for a photo shoot yesterday all you get is this blurry camera photo for now.

Speaking of not taking the time to take photos, since I didn't do that I took a second look at a necklace that was expiring. I couldn't decide whether to keep it on in it's current form or disassemble it and give it a new life. It was one of my first grab bag pieces that I wasn't entirely pleased with. The lace didn't hang right and honestly I shouldn't have settled, but I wanted it to be finished and so I listed it.  I liked what it was supposed to be so after asking twitter opinions, I went ahead and took the piece apart, cutting through lace with wild abandon as I redesigned the piece in my head.

So, this is what I came up with. Again, no real pictures of course, but I think this is much better. I adjusted the original pattern to give it more of a curve and tatted around the filigree piece. Then using just the same bits from the original necklace, I reconstructed the necklace. I decreased the length, added stabilizing chains from the left over chain and it hangs so much better. The lines are cleaner and basically the lesson here is that you never *have* to be done designing something. If you want to take a second look, do it, even if other people have praised you work. You know what you want it to be and don't settle for less. Sure it took me almost a year to get it right, but I am quite pleased.

Hopefully today I can stay on task and get some things remade because as soon as that special order thread gets here, I'll be busy on that order for days I think. I would hate for anything to be distracting me at that point.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Found Again!

It's always wonderful to get a little unexpected attention. I get 'etsy finds' emails daily and I can't tell you how many times I've looked at their theme and thought, 'why not me?' Well, yesterday was Mardi Gras and their email theme followed that theme and as I scrolled down with that familiar thought, there was my white mask. Woo and also Hoo! If you don't get the email, here's a peek at it and clicking will take you to a image of the whole email if you're curious.

The day then of course brought a mess of new eyes to my shop, not tons of sales or anything, but those eyes favorited many things and that equals a very good day. The day wasn't all etsy finds though, I also made up the awareness bracelet and got that in the shop. I didn't have to make too many adjustments from the original, but I did add a hook to one end for easy wearing. The first was tied on to avoid using any metal, but the hook makes wearing it that much easier. As it has been pointed out, I can also easily change the color of the ribbons to match any cause one might want to support while still wearing a fancy lace bracelet.

I also managed to finish up one of the masks that needed remaking, but there are two left and I woke up to an idea for one of the bits I recently picked up on clearance, so I'll likely be distracted with that this morning. I do adore being busy. I have also been dealing with an increase in youtube subscribers and folks acting shocked that people are still tatting, including other tatters. I've been sending people in droves to Intatters to see the humongous community. It can't be too much longer that the shock begins to wear off because every time I visit Intatters the list of new members is mind boggling. Well, I'm up later than usual so if I missed sharing anything, sorry and I'm off to it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Put 'Em Up

It was another fairly productive day over in my neck of the woods. After being distracted by household duties both normal and odd, I had to clean up under the couches...the child 'lost' something, I got the demi gloves finished up. It did take me a while to suss out the best way to photograph them and after getting some dolled up pictures twitter helped me pick the best ones and helped me name them and they are now listed. This 'boxing' photo was quite popular with my twitter friends, but I did opt for a different photo for the main listing. I also admit that the price tag on these pieces is particularly high, but it is quite an involved, dense pattern with a little Celtic work as well as the time sucking embroidery so I'm sticking with it.

The advantages of being ones own model are the ability to take photos whenever you need to. The disadvantages are you have to get presentable on the laziest of days and then make faces into a camera hoping that the neighbors don't walk by and think you're a total loon. Okay, so they likely think that anyway. After the listing was up I went back to work on some sold pieces. Then I sold some masks and that planned today for me. I'd still like to get that awareness bracelet made up for the shop so I might take a break from masks to do that, but no playing with rings for me yet.

I should also be getting in some special order thread that was requested by a customer toward the end of the week. I have been commissioned to create several pieces in this thread. I'll show it to you when it gets here, but it's a poly blend thread chosen for its color and I have never worked with it before. I definitely prefer working with natural fibers, but we'll see if I can keep up my standards with non standard thread. I think that's it for me today, much tatting lies ahead.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Demi Glove

Wow, did I have a productive weekend. Well, it was mostly Sunday actually. I shipped the awareness bracelet to its new home and got an order for a custom red choker, so I worked on that all Friday and Saturday morning so I could get it in the mail as quickly as possible and get back to the demi-glove. Twitter assured me that 'demi-glove' was the better name for the piece, so I'll stick with that for now. This is the first one all done up and embellished. I spent a lot of time working on getting the design to follow the shape of my hand and it fits perfectly. Luckily the design also has a bit of stretch so it shouldn't need to be too customized. I am currently still working on the second of the pair. As you might image this is a more involved piece than even some of my neck pieces so with the crystals and the embroidery added on too, they are going to cost someone a pretty penny.

It wasn't just a productive tatting day either. Where we spent Saturday movie going, Rango is a great movie by the way, we shopped on Sunday and I found my rings. I checked hardware stores, but I just kept finding bits that were not quite right. Then I thought maybe the craft section of Michael's, the Internet had let me down, but after an impulse to check just one more aisle, these babies were found. They are beyond perfect, the right mix of diameters and the ring gauges are just right as well, not too thin nor too thick. While I was there I also ransacked the clearance aisle for more bits to work with and scored quite a few new oddities that will eventually be worked into lace.

Today the plan is to finish up the other demi-glove and perhaps even get them listed. Then I have a couple of things I want to remake including the awareness bracelet. Once all that is done, I might get to playing with rings, or the other bits. Of course all that might wait until tomorrow too since the list before it might take longer than I hope. Boy, it is great to be inspired to work though. I love getting things done.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wear It On Your Hand

Thank you all so much for your pictures guesses. You were of course all correct and that was a great relief to me. I had been asked to create a bracelet that would contain the ribbon, but not be just about the ribbon so I thought the best was was to actually work the design more subtly into the lace rather than design a larger ribbon, but I feared that I could only see the ribbon because I already knew what it was. The design was also approved by its requester and it will go into the shop today for her. It will likely also go into the shop as a regular listing soon as well.

I was also busy yesterday with the new idea I mentioned yesterday. I wanted to blend two pieces into an entirely new product. Well almost entirely new...I had tried the glove before, but I lost my way. This one is sort of a glovelette or mitt or demi glove...yeah, I don't know what to call it. Anyway, I started with the Tenebrous motif because I will eventually embellish it and then I started by adding bits of the throat corset motif to the sides, then more of them.

This is the point where I began the making, cutting out, remaking and staring at it until it made sense phase. I had mentioned on twitter that I wondered what it was like to be a maker that prepared and sketched and planned before working, because I just jump in and cross my fingers. When that crossing doesn't work, I get out the scissors. I won't tell you how much clipping I did before I finally came up with something close enough to call a decent prototype.

I was trying to make a final piece, but as I closed the glove, I realized what more needed changing to make it fit right and since it was plenty obvious, I knew I could stop working on the prototype and just use what I have learned for the final piece. What was surprising is that using the fingers from the first glove attempt, I think I can use what I've learned here to finally make the full glove as day. For now, I'm just going to try to finish up this little, purely decorative accessory. I plan on embroidering the center and adding crystals to make it an over the top piece, well likely a pair, but they should be swanky.

P.S. Thanks for the hardware store suggestion for rings...I can't believe I didn't think of that!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Guess The Picture

Well, I got distracted yesterday and only accomplished a bit of what I had planned to. It wasn't my fault really, I got an early morning custom request from a previous customer and since it had special meaning, I started to work straight away. I don't want to give away the design yet as I haven't heard back from her, but I did spend much of the day sussing it out. Heck I'm not even going to say what you're suppose to be seeing, but if you could tell me what you think you see, that would help me know whether I got it right or not.

Before you start giving me what for, like I told you to do, I did get some things ordered yesterday, but there was much disappointment. The shop where I got such a phenomenal thread deal by buying in bulk, no longer offers that deal. I have thought about trying to buy wholesale, but I'm not sure I could get the gig without being an actual reseller. So I sucked it up, found an okay deal with free shipping and basically bought them out of black thread. Then I decided to stick with my current business cards as they are not all that expensive so I can change them before they run out if I have a good enough reason, so those are ordered.

Then I tried to get more package stickers and I was sorely disappointed again. Both shops on etsy that I have used for this service are now closed and the ones that remain don't make the ones that I had gotten used to. Theirs are all die cut and, well...girly. I like my nice square bold ones. So I didn't get those yesterday and I'm deciding if I should just get the much smaller moo stickers. If I do those I need to put together a logo or find a photo that looks good at 22mm x22mm. The stickers I have now are 2" and I can put my URL on them and my whole shop name, but I suppose if they already bought from me they don't really need my address huh? Do you people understand how much thinking I do while I write here, it's like talking to myself only with typing. Anyway, so I guess I need a small, distinct logo before I can do that. Great, more stalling.

Oh, and in other disappointing ordering news I couldn't seem to find anywhere that would offer a ring mix in larger sizes like I wanted for more of the asymmetric necklaces. Of course I am likely just jumping the gun anyway. Just because I like making them doesn't mean they will be flying off the shelves, but with no other jewelry supplies in desperate need, I just skipped that order for now. So that brings us to today's plans. I've just got a couple of things left on the remake list and neither are imperative. I've got a couple of ideas brewing for more odd products and the next fancy mask idea is also percolating. So I guess what I'm saying is I have no idea what I'll be doing or making today, fun.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ah, Wednesday

I'm up at an even more ridiculous hour than usual today, I had to 'help out' the tooth fairy since the husband has been out of town since Sunday and the oldest child had her loose tooth knocked out by one of the kittens yesterday. Yes, I am aware that sounds odd. She was holding said kitten and as he struggled to get away, he head butted her in the mouth and tooth gone. We're now calling her toothless as see is currently missing both top front's a classic. Yes, I could have 'helped' in the middle of the night, but I have a horrible time getting back to sleep once awake. I also cannot nap, so I'm up at four and I'm staying up.

Yesterday had a bit of an odd feeling as well. I took my mask to the post office and said goodbye to it for the last time. It was actually sort of anticlimactic as I just returned home and started back to work on remaking things. Then when I had a bit of light, I got the pictures taken of the brown ring piece. The large center ring makes this one huge. I did also try to mimic more of a gear teeth look with a few of them. The effect seems to be best from a distance as the floweriness seems to take over closeup. Either way, these are fun to make and I think I might have to acquire more rings.

Speaking of acquiring things, I think I should take some time to do some more supply orders. I am getting dangerously close to the end of my massive black thread box. I am also running low on my package stickers and business cards. Those are the things I always stall on. I wonder if I should change them, then decide it's okay, then I worry because if I don't change them I won't be able to until I'm running out again as I buy in bulk. Of course all this back and forth merely results in me actually running out before supplies are replenished and me mentally kicking myself yet again. So yes, that is what I will do today. I will make some decisions and get things ordered and if I don't tell you I did these things tomorrow, feel free to give me what for.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


You will not believe what happened yesterday...unless of course you follow me on twitter, then you already know, but for everyone else this should be a shocker. Ready? My Masquerade mask has been SOLD! Yes, that mask, the one that took me weeks to construct, was lost in the mail during the fashion week fiasco and recently returned to me unharmed. It has found a home and even better than that the home it is going to is a good one. This wasn't just a buy and run, I got to have some lovely conversations with the new owner and I am so relieved that she will be fully appreciated and she may even be seen again in another creative pursuit. It's not my place to share what that might be, but if it comes to pass, you will know.

As you can well imagine, this was a bit of a shock for me and after it occurred, I spent much of the day in a state of disbelief. Yes, I know how much work went into it and I know it turned out well, but after so many people trying to negotiate the price down I resigned myself to it never selling and simply remaining a 'show piece'. Now of course I need to design a new one, something with the same over the top feeling, but I will need to wait for the proper inspiration to goad me into that weeks long process again. For now, I would like to say Woo Hoo and Huzzah to the giver!

No, that wasn't all I did yesterday. I made the mask buyer a matching embroidered pendant as a gift...which I didn't get any photos of, but then I went back to work on the new brown ring necklace...which I didn't get any pictures of yet. Ooh, I did list another of the one of a kind pieces. This one is another tatted around a huge metal ring and I picked up this domed bit as I went. Again, I made the stitches up as I went and really had no preconceived design. I call it, Tribal Sun and it is gigantic, but again surprisingly light for all the metal. I didn't even add a ring to hand it from and just wove the chain through the top lace.

I will get my mask in the mail today and hopefully get photos of the brown piece and get it listed as well. I also sold a few other pieces recently that I ought to get remade and since I am waiting for the inspiration fairy, I'll get on those in the meantime. I know, I know, I should just rest on my laurels for a few days, but you know I can't do that. My fingers must keep tatting and my mind must keep creating. Some days, I just feel so very lucky.