Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ribbon Crests

I asked the facebook page people pretty early in the day whether I should list the ribbon crest piece now or wait for October and the general consensus was now. I figured since I was posting it now I might as well do a couple in other colors and list them all at once. So I did one in red and one in purple since those are  the ribbons colors I'm most familiar with. I actually looked up the meanings of the colors to see what else I might make and yikes, some of these colors are shared with a ridiculous number of causes, some familiar, some so very obscure that they really do need awareness.

I was going to do a few more, but I really ought to wait and see if any of them are purchased before I do so. Which is what I should have done with the comic book bracelets before I made so many of them. That was my last brilliant idea that hasn't garnered much attention.

Hopefully my thread order arrives in today and I can get back to that custom order, if not...hopefully tomorrow. I also finished up the last tatted scarf so I might get the two of them listed today as well. Other than that, I've nothing on tap, but a nice normal last day of the month.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Scarf And Crest

Well, there are no new injuries to report in the household, so there's a plus for the day. The Husband did stay home from work to keep his foot up and it seems likely that he'll be taking another sick day today which is fine, I'd rather he heal up than re injure himself.

It looks like I won't be getting my thread order in until Wednesday or Thursday which leaves me with some free time. No, I didn't work on masks like I should have. Instead once schooling was over for the day, I rolled up another skein of hand dyed sock yarn and started on a scarf. I looked back and I've sold more scarves than I thought, so I suppose it isn't a waste of time to make them. This one is just a simple vintage edging. I didn't feel like working up any of my previous designs as most of them require a lot of cutting and hiding ends and I wanted something that worked up with less thought and effort.

I got about halfway through the scarf when I saw I tweet that gave me another idea. It was someone pointing out that as October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, they were making pink jewelry in September. I actually had my awareness ribbon bracelet out on the table to measure it for a customer a few days ago and thought it would be neat to make something new with the split ring ribbon motif. At first I tried a heart, the first was wasn't quite right so I switched gears. I'm certain I could have made the heart work and I might still go back to it, but Instead I used the clover motifs from the bracelet to make what I'm calling a ribbon crest.

I made it up in black first and once I was sure it was going to work, I made this one here with a medium pink ribbon. I finished it late, so I didn't show it around yet, but I will today and see what the general consensus is about the design. It could either be a simple pendant hung from the center or I could add chain to the top side clovers to make a more finished necklace. I guess I'll figure that all out today as my shop totally went back to sleep. I'm also not sure whether I should just list it now or save it until October. Who am I kidding I have no patience for waiting, it'll likely be up as soon as I suss out the chain situation. I guess it will be another wide open day as far as projects are concerned. Nothing on the plate, so I'll probably work on the scarf for a wile and once that's done, I'll list both it and the chainmaille one. It may be ridiculously hot here, but I hear tale that fall is coming. Maybe I'll make a red ribbon crest as well. See, I don't have a clue how the day will play, so I guess we'll just go with the flow.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Well, we had quite the interesting and occasionally unpleasant weekend. The unpleasantness began on Friday when finishing piece number two of the custom order. I had used up the first ball of thread and began the third piece using the second. A few segments in I placed it down on the table next to the other pieces and realized that while the two balls of thread said they were the same color, the dye lot was very different. I've not had them be quite this off before with the second being lighter. I mean I immediately saw a difference. While I'm not certain the customer would have immediately noticed, it was enough for me to stop work and make that thread order. This left me with a task that will not be completed until that thread arrives. Luckily I built this sort of set back into my time frame for custom orders.

Saturday was humming along nicely. Our usual trek to the Lowe's building thing was fun. Our errands to the Target, comic book store and Costco were fruitful. We were winding down in the evening when a friend brought over a piece he had drawn for my husband of his favorite comic book character and everything was just lovely. Just before bedtime the children requested we put up a new kids shower head we had purchased earlier. This brought the next bit of unpleasantness. As the husband worked, he stepped back onto the rubber tipped hook portion of a shower caddy I had just put in the bottom of the bathtub, you know to get it out of the way. Yes, the afore mentioned hook bit punctured the arch of his foot...bad. The kids were in the room too and freaked out as copious amounts of blood were unleashed from the wound. After the kids were calmed and the husband bandaged we all had a rough nights sleep.

This brings us to Sunday where a large portion of the morning was spent in the doctors office waiting for the husband to be seen and then receive that all important tetanus shot as his last was oh, eighteen years ago. The wound was examined and announced to be uninfected, though it's obvious someone will be limping about for quite some time. Also I am totally being blamed for leaving the shower caddy where it could be stepped on. I suppose that's fair, it was him moving the coffee table that caused me to break my toe the first time. Thus ends the unpleasantness.

One last this before I begin the Monday. I did get something new made starting before the Saturday incident and finishing after the Sunday doctor visit. This one is the prototype worked up as written in the antique pattern. Well except that I doubled it upon itself to make a wide cuff. I laced this one on for the photo, but after this I started on the final piece with my little stitch counting changes and hooks for closures. When I worked it up the second time I also figured out how to work it in one pass with a couple of chains which also gave it a more finished look on the edge. Hopefully I'll get it photographed and listed today. I have to wait for my thread order to finish the only order I have in queue so I'm also hoping for something that needs doing to come my way. Or perhaps I'll get working on some masks before Halloween is upon us. I guess the day is wide open, but let's just cross out fingers that there is no more unpleasantness.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Just Working

I've got nothing for you this morning. Not really anyway. I dug through my thread and picked a nice royal blue that is the closest shade to sapphire that I have or that is even made. By some stroke of luck I happened to have two balls of this one, so I didn't order anymore, though I think I will today anyway as the first ball is not likely to survive the second piece in this order. The first was a pair of ankle corsets and now I'm onto a mask. The last piece is one of my larger collar necklaces so there is no way I'm making it with just one ball of thread and I will likely use up most of the second as well. Honestly,  I am way too used to a ball of thread lasting much longer. I use Cebelia for all my black work and the balls are much bigger than the flora and Lizbeth I use for most of my colored pieces. Anyway, that's my task for today, finish the mask and if I'm lucky and productive I'll get the necklace done too. More likely I'll start the necklace and finish it too late tomorrow to get it in the mail so it will sit around until Monday anyway so perhaps I shouldn't rush myself.

I am also waiting for an out of country echeck to clear and my goddess is it taking forever. With domestic ones its three or four days, this one is going on ten. I mean really it's no skin off my nose, but I can't imagine the customer loves waiting this long for it to even ship, let alone how long it takes to get there after it does. It just seems a mighty inconvenient way to shop. Reminds me of when things used to take 4-6 weeks to arrive after you ordered through the mail...ah, memories.

Well, that's all I can think of this morning. More blue tatting awaits me this fine day, you know once the sun comes up an all that. Oh, how about one of the nice sunflowers from my backyard for a photo to liven this up substance lacking post then. Yeah, that's nice and sunny. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chainmaille Complete

Yep, I did exactly what I thought I would do yesterday. I schooled, I cleaned a little and when I tatted it was ring after ring of the chainmaille scarf. I kept going until that ball of yarn was so small I couldn't get another ring out of it. I did end up adding a single ring to each end to give it more of a finished look and it ended up being about 3' when laid out and almost 4' when hanging stretched. The rings have a lot of give and movement, but tugging on the outside rings pulls it right back. I still haven't decided whether I should put it in the shop or not. I probably wouldn't wear it, so I suppose I will. I'll ask twitter and facebook about it today and see if anyone has an opinion. Please leave your too, if you have one.

Speaking of the shop, I tried out the idea of a flash sale yesterday. I put my four charm necklaces on sale for five hours. I tweeted, I facebooked and I got nothing out of the deal. There was a little increased traffic yesterday, but I think that most of that came from this Russian blog where my mask Instructable is translated. I just discovered that one a few days ago in my stats for my etsy shop ans it's been steadily sending eyes to the shop.

Just as I was getting ready for bed last night, one of those custom order inquiries turned into an order for three large pieces all in a sapphire blue. So today's task is set before me. I need to pick the best blue to match the request and immediately order more of it since I only have one ball of most shades and I'm fairly certain that it will not stand up to all three of these pieces or if it does there will be none left at the end. I should be tatting this order for a few days at the very least. All the other custom order inquiries I've been receiving lately are for multiple pieces as well, so if any of them actually do come back and make orders in the next couple of days expect me to start acting all overwhelmed. Of course that scenario is still better than the sleeping shop. Well, off to it then.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Newest Instructable: Needle Tatted Chainmaille

Sometimes an impulsive comment like, 'I might make this my next Instructable.' turns into an actual thing without much planning on my part. After schooling and laundry and the wunderkammer were all done yesterday I sat down with my tatted chainmaille again. As I worked I realized how simple it would be to get shots of the construction as I worked since each ring works up quickly. So I stopped weaving and got a surplus of rings made up so I could do just that.

You can find the tutorial up on Instructables here: Needle Tatted Chainmaille if you're interested in working one of these up, though if you're already a tatter and know even a little chainmaille, you will likely have already figured it out already or can now that the idea has been presented. That's the point of posting on Instructables though, it's for those who aren't tatters, those that need to see the off center things you can do with the art before they give it a go. I have been so very fortunate to reach such a large uninitiated audience there...I love Instructables.

I got back to the scarf once that was posted and it's at about 25 inches right now. I figured I would just going until I run out of yarn and hopefully I get at least three feet, four would be nice. I'm not even certain that this will make it into the shop at all. I guess I'll make that decision when its done. I do have to take a break on it now so I can work up a custom colored necklace for one of my favorite customers. I still don't think my shop is fully awake yet though so I should be able to finish the scarf soon.

So to recap, the tutorial was yesterday's task and today is just making, though I am still tossing around the idea of making a quick video of making the ring needed for the chainmaille since it is a true ring, not the usual mock one generally used in needle tatting, but I'll just wait until I'm better motivated to do so, or someone actually asks. I have also had another streak of custom item inquiries where the customer doesn't get back to me at all and I fear that they will all return at the same time, though actually that would be awesome for business, so forget about that fear thing I just said. Wait, no, it still scares me, but it's unlikely to happen, so I'll just take a deep breath and hope that future inquiry discussions actually come to a conclusion at all, whether it be to move forward or not. It's the not knowing that causes all the stress. Crap, I'm rambling again...I'll just leave now before it gets worse.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reproductions and Chainmaille

So, back to tatting this morning. Over the weekend I made this necklace. This is one that was inspired by another necklace. I spied this one in several etsy listings for the most amazing vintage dresses, many of which I wish I has the resources and a good reason to own. The photo below links to the shop. But, I digress, for this piece, I started backwards. First I got all the chains put together to see what size frame I had to work with for the small bits in the centers. Before I got round to those though, I opted to add a tatted chain of Victorian sets as well. I tatted the chain directly onto jump rings so it would hang right and I'll tell you ending a chain with no ring is fiddly.

The medallions were a pain in the neck as well. At first I was trying too hard to mimic the tear drop shape from the original necklace here. Sure, I could have done that with a single ring, but I wanted them to really replace a gem so they needed to be more intricate. I went though at least a half dozen designs before I settled on this one. Obviously I did not make an exact copy of the other necklace, but it was fun to try and reproduce the feel of it. I also made up some matching earrings yesterday just before I got them both listed.

Then I got bored again. I know I should be doing some number crunching to find my most sold items and making things to stock up for the holidays, but I'm just not feeling it. Then I had a brilliant, time killing idea. I decided to make a tatted scarf. Yes, I've made them before lots of them actually. This time though I decided to make a tatted chainmaille scarf. I've played around with the idea of tatted chainmaille before, as I know others have and it really is a natural progression creatively. It's simple yet intricate and repetitive, the perfect time killer.

This is a 4-1 European weave otherwise known as the easiest weave in the world...yeah, I'm not certain that's true, my maille skills are limited. You tat four rings, then tat a fifth around them to make four rings on one ring. Lay it out just so and make other five. Then you make another ring to connect the two rosettes. On and on you go. This is the perfect side project. I can pick this up and put it down at will. I figure I keep adding to it until I run out of the hand dyed sock yarn I'm using. I thought about doing it wider, but it seems just fine for something you'd wrap around your neck a couple of times. I was having such a nice time with it that I might even make this my next instructable. Either way, this is what I'll work on until the shop wakes up again...silly sleeping shop with so few sales...wake up shop, wake up! Shockingly, that did not work...oh, well, back to the scarf then.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Look At The Pretty Picture

I did get some new tatting done over the weekend, but I'm saving that for tomorrow. Today I have something completely different to share with you. I was offered the opportunity to review the services of Easy Canvas Prints. I may have moved into this house two years ago, but I still have a ridiculous amount of blank, white wall space so I jumped at trying out this great idea. You upload your photos or art, pick a size, customize other options and they slap it on an easy, ready to hang canvas.

I though about doing a photo of my tatting, but since most of the really good shots are of my face, I decided not to. Did I really want to look at my own face hanging on the wall? No. Instead I picked a picture of the kids at the Ren Faire not only because they are bloody adorable in it, but because the color scheme fits well in the living room where it is now hanging. You can see that the edge around the canvas is black, but you can pick any color to fit the decor. I also got one of the smallest sizes, but we'll definitely be going back for some larger ones. The texture of the canvas adds character to the image and the colors are great. The frame inside the canvas appears to be quite nice and sturdy as well. I have seen some before with rough splintery wood inside, but not these.

Honestly though I was sold on the idea once I played on the website. The ordering process is quick, easy and very visual. I love that you can really see how it's going to look when it's finished. It's not the cheapest services of course, but the high quality of the canvas and the fact that it eliminates the need for frames makes it worth it for me.

I finished my last custom order over the weekend too, so I really have no big projects on tap for a while. Ooh and I updated the thread color list on my etsy. It's at the bottom on my policy page and it is way longer now. Yeah, I think that's it for me today, but I will have that weekend project to share tomorrow.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Hello Friday! No, I don't have anything good to show you today either. I did manage to stay on task much of the day. I got a pair of earrings and a couple of bracelets remade and listed, but much of the day was lost to schooling and the TV tech that was called out to fix our reception. I know there is much vile reserved for AT&T, but seriously their Uverse customer is top notch. I can schedule everything from my television for the next day without talking to a single human before they arrive and they robo call in advance to confirm everything. It's a beautiful thing, but the appointments always take forever. Yes, I realize that is probably a good thing, thorough and whatnot.

So to change the subject, later in the evening I was doing a tatting search on etsy. Yes, I'm little on edge after the last discovery. Yet again, I run across a piece made with another of my designs. The seller was politely contacted and without excuse removed the listing. The swiftness with which these recent incidents have been resolved does give me hope that they were merely done without thought and were not malicious in any way so I will continue to react in a calm, rational way. Though I did go ahead and post a short little rant on my facebook page. What is interesting about both these incidents is that the patterns used are not posted anywhere. That means that they were copied from pictures which does concern me. I've always liked to post big, clear pictures and I really need to in order to encourage buyers, but maybe I ought not... oh how I hate having to second guess myself. Onward and upward though, it was resolved pleasantly enough, I should not dwell.

I do still have a couple of pieces left on the to-do list that I will get to today. Then as soon as my thread order arrives, hopefully this weekend, it's a custom mask. Between those two events though I'm hoping to get to at least one of my reproduction ideas and see if it can work at all. And just because I have no tatting to share, here's another kitty picture for you. Have a great weekend all.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So Little

Such a long day and so little done. I finished exactly one pair of barefoot sandals yesterday and nothing else was tatted. Nothing. Of course there was schooling in the morning then a field trip to the bowling alley in the afternoon. We followed that up with a stop by the in-laws house that lasted longer than anticipated while the husband updated their wireless. At this point we decided that since we'd already been out too long to get a good nap out of the kids, we headed to the Costco. I put forth all of this as my excuse for getting so little done.

I did get an custom request that turned into an actual order in the morning. These are rare events so I like to dwell on them a bit. This one required me to order some golden yellow thread, so while I was at it, I grabbed quite a handful of other colors in Lizbeth and Flora. For someone who works primarily in black, I am getting quite the collection of colors. I have had a thought of getting fully stocked on all the available shades in cebelia, lizbeth and flora so I can just copy their color swatches and put those up as the custom available colors for the shop. I really ought to update that list in the shop anyway...maybe when I get some down time again.

In other news, since I don't have any tatting to show you, I took a picture of all but one of the cats feasting this morning. The seventh cat is our old man cat. He's sitting off to the side as I don't think he like sharing with the kittens. He waits until they've shoved off and goes at all three plates to get his fill. This image is preceded by all of them jumping upon me and mewing, scratching, fighting with each other and generally being obnoxious until I rise to feed them. Now you see why I'm so very awake in the morning.

I shall try to be more productive and on task today. I still have quite a list of small pieces that really ought to be made and in the shop and that list of new ideas isn't getting any closer to being done until I've tackled those. Yeah, I kind of want to go back to bed, that's so not happening.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I was horrifyingly bad at staying on task yesterday. Sure I got a few things remade, but the second I needed to fetch a piece so that I could double check the pattern, I got all lazy like and started playing on my phone instead. Since I received an order yesterday for a few pieces as well, I start today as far in the hole with the tatting pile as I did yesterday.

I did get photos of the new piece despite that rather unattractive cold sore exploding on my face. It is quite amazing what the simplest of photo editing tools can do. I got that listed and then stalled some more. Wait, I cleaned up my pile of finished tatting and got it sorted away into their proper bins too. Let's just say it was a quiet tatting day.

Today is the first field trip day for the homeschooling group...class...whatever. Point is, we're going out bowling this afternoon. I still have to get the full day of classes done and so it might be a quiet tatting day today as well. I have high hopes that I can get back on task once we're back though. That to-do list is getting pretty formidable and yesterdays sale added a few larger pieces to it that I really like to have listed at all times.

I have stumbled upon a few sources of inspiration lately that I've tried to note so I can get back to them when my plate is empty again. I've seen several necklaces that I would love to try to recreate the look of in lace and I've been collecting pictures of them. I almost started one just before the birthday orders starting rolling in, but it's on the back burner now. Hopefully next week will be one of creation. Yes, I know we're not even halfway through this week yet, but I'm pretty sure looking forward to next week on this point is a wise idea.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Well, thank you! The happy birthday comments I received both here and all over my other internet haunts were numerous and very nice. It was a fairly uneventful birthday what with the schooling and not much else planned, but the wonderful thing is, it wasn't even remotely 'bad'. Nothing went horribly wrong and add that to the lovely Saturday I had in celebration of the birthday and I'd say we broke the bad birthday streak. I was also pleasantly surprised to have a really good day in the shop. Usually when I have a one day sale, I am soundly ignored save for one pity sale, but that was not the case and I have much packing to do this morning. So, thanks for that too.

Aside from birthday stuff, I did get some tatting completed as well. I finished the mask, the custom necklace and I got the hardware on the new circlet/necklace. I didn't get any real photos because I wasn't feeling pretty. I was going to do them this morning, but I feel a cold sore forming just below my lip at this very moment so I might not. There is always editing to get rid of it if it doesn't explode or anything I guess...we'll see.

Since I did make some sales yesterday, I have quite the list of tatting that needs remaking so that will be the task on tap for today and quite likely tomorrow as well. They were all smaller pieces, earrings, bracelets and the like, so it should go pretty quickly. The daughter's class schedule however is much denser this year meaning I will be spending a bit more time on that. On the flip side, she also has more work that she needs to do herself giving me more downtime in between, so perhaps it will just mean more tatting during those times. I don't know what I'll do once both kids are schooling. Oh, I'm sure I'll work it out just fine...I've got another year to figure it out. That's it for me I think. Again, thanks for the birthday love, you helped make this one loads better.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What Day Is It?

You know, most people inform others that it is their birthday for the sole purpose of receiving special attention or treatment. I thought about how it's really the same as saying 'hello, how are you?' to someone so that they will return the greeting so you can vent about your day or fishing for compliments by insulting yourself. I thought about how it's kind of manipulative and a very large percentage of that 'special' treatment is less than sincere, but know, I don't care. Hey world, it's my happy birthday to me!

I was thrown a lovely party by my husband on Saturday. He was trying to make up for a run of bad birthdays I've had that's lasted a few years now. He did. I received a few very lovely gifts from friends and spent the evening in great company that even the children enjoyed. So, here on my actual birthday I actually feel pretty good even though today is the first official day of school so I couldn't really plan anything good for today. Oh, just in case you're interested I did plan one thing, a coupon code, one day sale for the etsy shop. Use the code 'HappyBirthday25' to receive 25% off. No, I did not turn 25, you can add a decade to that number, but if I kept giving out discounts based on my age, things would get ugly pretty fast.

I have two custom orders in queue right now but before they came in I had started on an unexpected project. Well, not really unexpected, more unplanned. It started with this motif that made up what the antique pattern book called, a beading. I don't know what that is, but I liked the shape so I made one up. I initially thought I was going to continue the pattern as written, but instead I modified the stitch counts and started a new circlet design using this and a small flower tatted around a steel ring. I think that it's done at this point save for the hardware. It makes a lovely necklace as well, so I'm going to try and make it convertible with some chains, Obviously I failed to take any more pictures as that's the same time when I got a mask order in followed by one for a custom length choker. I've still got both of those to finish today before I can spend anymore time on this piece.

I also took a trip to Michael's yesterday and picked up some frames for some art prints I've been hoarding and some crystals and shirts for the kids to play with. That turned into our Sunday afternoon project. They designed shirts that I hot fixed together for them and yawned a lot. Yes, I stayed up too late on Saturday and no, I still haven't fully recovered, but it was worth it. So to recap, birthday, coupon code, custom orders and schooling...away I go.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Warning, Rant Ahead

Ah, Friday...sometimes I wish that you actually meant the week was over, but it's just an illusion for me of course. Non stop is the life of the stay at home mom. No, I'm not really complaining. I do in fact love my life...most days, I just wish the weekend was more like it was when I was a kid, but I digress.

Yesterday, I did much cleaning, but the kind you can't see all that well. You know, bathrooms, dusting blinds and the like. Then I finished up the barefoot sandals and with no preplanned project to attend to, I stopped tatting for the day. I did put up a giveaway for a pair of tatted bobby pins on my facebook page that won't end until this afternoon if you wanted to participate.

Then I decided to go looking at tatting around Art Fire and Etsy. I used to do this all the time, especially around the time I had that awful copycat that put up several pieces using my designs, copied my descriptions, shop policies and photograph was unpleasant. Since then, I only nose around every once in a while. This time I ran across another copy of my work. Now, I know you initially wonder if it's one of the pieces I used a vintage or antique pattern for, but those are fair game for anyone nor was it one where I provided a pattern online. No, this was my lace maille necklace design. Sure, the motif is simple, but they added crystals in the same places, strung them with jump rings into the same configuration. This, my friends is blatant copying. Luckily a short convo to the seller resulted in a quick removal of the piece and an apology. The apology contained one sentence though, that gave me pause and I wanted to talk about that here.

"I didn't realize it was your design, as I have seen others on Etsy just like it". This was followed by, "There are just so many things on etsy that look alike."

As to the first comment, No, there aren't...I looked. That design is only used by me and there is nothing remotely like it there that wasn't made by me. It is however the spirit of the comments that is the most disconcerting. Basically they admit they copied the design from a photo, whether they knew it was mine or not is irrelevant, they knew it wasn't theirs, that belonged to someone else and that didn't seem to matter to them. They then took the great amount of time that it takes to make that piece and didn't think at any point during its construction that they were doing anything wrong. Now, I'm all for copying other peoples work in an effort to learn and grow and become a better tatter and designer, but not to sell.

Their second comment seems so much like saying,' hey, look I'm not the only one'. Don't make excuses, you messed up, you were caught, learn from it and move on. I had to learn nearly the same lesson at one point, so I don't harbor any ill will here. I did send a reply with a friendly reminder about the dangers of copyright infringement, not as a threat, but I really am trying to be helpful. I guess I just feel it's best for me to share these sort of things so that more people can avoid ever being in the situation in the first place. There are much meaner people than me regarding design protection and if you copy them...well, you won't get off so easily.

Well, that was a longer rant than I had intended and I know that I've sang this same song on a few other occasions so thank you for your patience. I don't have any tatting projects queued up right now, so I might find some time to play over the weekend and just see what I can birth. I also have our end of the summer/birthday get together this weekend which should keep me busy what with the preparing and then the cleaning up after, so I might not get anything interesting done at all. So I'll just see you on the other side then.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just The One Thing

Let's see now...I did get the mask I was working on done so it will be in the mail this morning. I started on the barefoot sandals that I needed to make, but then I made the decision to go outside and clean up the yard. This was a choice I almost immediately regretted as the heat seemed to sap every bit of energy out of my body. When I finally came back inside after the weed pulling and picking up random strewn items I literally fell into the couch and stayed there for a good thirty minutes. To make matters worse I was also doing laundry at the same time which I had at this point nearly forgotten about.

After lunch rather than get back to the barefoot sandals, I made up the forth charm necklace and got pictures of it, as well as a couple of pendants that needed renewing in the shop. They had some of my very laziest photos on their listings and if I was going to keep them in the shop I figured a makeover was due. It's just a another subtle reminder of all the lessons I have learned over the last five years hawking my wares. Of course I mostly made this necklace so I would have something... anything to talk about and show today.

After those were done it was back to the barefoot sandals and some errands. Not to be repetitive, but today is also back to the barefoot sandals, but instead of errands I have set aside some rooms that need cleaning. So again, I don't have much faith in tomorrow's post being interesting nor entertaining either. I think I'm just dragging here at the end of summer, or it could be that my birthday is fast approaching and I'm moving up a demographic age group. I know that's a weird thing to be concerned about. I guess at least I'll be at the bottom end of the demographic instead of the top or I could just ignore it as it's probably just one of many different accepted demographic ranges that at the end of the day is just an arbitrary cutoff point lacking any real meaning. Yeah, but I'll have to check the other box. Anyway, that's it for me today. I'm off to it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


It's gonna be one of 'those' posts. Yep, nothing good to share at all. I worked on the ordered mask and I didn't even finish it because we had a family eye doctor appointment in the afternoon and a comic book meeting in the evening. I should have brought the tatting to the meeting, but, well...I didn't.  I did manage to get the last three superhero cuffs listed in the morning though. That will be the last of them until I order up some more thread. In particular I need a gold color to do a few more specific ones that the husband has been hounding my about. Once that last batch has been completed I think I'll probably be done with color for the foreseeable future.

If you were curious about the eye appointment, I've been blind as all get out since I was five years old. I wear contacts and I've managed to let the one pair of glasses I own last over a decade. They are not only less than useful, but currently broken and wired together with jewelry wire. So I have new contacts and glasses coming...they have skulls on them. We also had the youngest get her first exam and the other child learned that she will likely need glasses in the next year or two. I'm glad the doctor gave us some time before we needed to worry about them though. It gives me a nice timeline to work on the child and get her used to the idea. I had a feeling with both our bad eyes there was little chance for the kids to escape with perfect vision, though the youngest does seem fine for the time being.

Anyway, today, it's back to the mask and I sold a pair of barefoot sandals that will need remaking. I'm not even going to assume there is a remote possibility that I get both those tasks done today. Schooling is taking much longer with us doing some online assessments that are apparently kicking my daughter's arse. We are back to those today as she keeps stopping all frustrated and they must get finished. So there you have it, nothing interesting to look at, nor read. I hope that today brings something worth sharing tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Heroes and Villains

Well, it was another boring, but on task day. I've opted to ramp up the child's schooling to full days even though I technically have another week until school officially begins. This keeps me much busier in the morning away from tatting, but having the extra work done gives us an invaluable cushion should anything arise over the year that takes us away from schooling or if she hits a tough spot with anything.

I did get three more superhero inspired colorways worked up though. The first batch of them also got listed. It was quite odd to take pictures for four pieces at the same time, but it certainly resulted in consistent images for them. The new pieces reside in a new 'Heroes and Villains' section in the shop. This new batch will get listed later this morning as well. I know they deviate a lot from my usual style, but I really am enjoying all the color I rarely work with. Don't worry, this doesn't mean that I have any intention of abandoning black. This is merely a sideshow and once I have finished all the characters that are currently running about in my head I will let go of the brightly hued combinations. Oh, if you were wondering these ones represent X-Men, Fantastic Four and The Joker.

I finally had someone return to purchase something they had requested, so today belongs to making a mask. I'm fairly certain that will be the whole of the day, but if I get some extra time, I think I'll make up that charm necklace I said I was going to make yesterday. I also have a ton of cleaning to do in anticipation of a get together we're hosting this weekend. I'm trying to clean a little at a time so it doesn't get overwhelming, but the children are determined to undo such small progress in record time. Oh well, it'll get done one way or another even if that other way is a mas cleaning marathon on Friday, which it will most likely be.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Interwoven Insanity

I am so the biggest liar ever. Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration, but that motif which I soundly put to bed as useless Friday morning...well, it wasn't. Apparently I just need to sleep on it because when I laid eyes on the piece later that morning not only did the solution appear, but it avalanched into a weekend long love affair. After the black version came alive, I decided that the three separate motifs would be best served by color variations. The first here is two shades of purple, a Lizbeth and a flora and black. Since the motifs themselves are so simple they work up quick until the finishing bits, but even those are just a little fiddly.

On Saturday I went to my old standby, the sepia tones. Yes, fancy browns. These ones are all Lizbeth...I had just gotten a new thread order in the mail in the morning. I was quite enjoying the graduated tones when I asked facebook what other color combinations they would like. One response was, 'bright colors'. You know I'm not usually drawn to the bright ones and when I am, outside the confines of a custom order, they rarely sell, but I was having a good time making so I went with it.

I chose primary colors and when I was about halfway through I couldn't help but think of Superman...or Wonder Woman. You might not be aware of this, but I am a bit of a comic book geek married to a way bigger comic book geek, so the idea of superheroes and villains represented in colored lace, well it grabbed hold quick. Soon, I had a second one done in honor of Batman and then I mentioned my project to the husband...he approved. Then he began relentlessly providing color combinations for a long list of characters and start lamenting my lack of speed to complete them all.

None of the new ones have been properly photographed nor listed as I just put down one and started another. Feel free to guess who they represent, but if you stop by my facebook page, the guessing has already been done and was quite an amusing romp for me. Yes, there are more waiting to be made and put into a  new 'Heroes and Villains' section in the shop. I'm currently having another run of custom inquiries that lead nowhere so I suppose I'll keep on these for a spell. There's also just one last key to put onto a charm necklace too, so I might get that done today as well.

I shall leave you today when a bit of wisdom I had to remember the hard way last night. If the other person drinking a strong bottle of wine with you over dinner doesn't like the wine...don't take upon yourself to finish the bottle after eating only a couple of slices of pizza. Sure, I'm fine this morning and the kids thought I was funny, but it really was not my best idea. I just thought I'd put that out as a 'see how awesomely stupid I can be' moment to start your week with a bit of a laugh. Did it work?

Friday, August 5, 2011

This & That

I got a bunch of things into the mail yesterday and found myself at that 'everything is done' phase again. After running errands in the morning I opted to get another of the charm necklaces finished and listed. As you might imagine, the tatting time needed on these is quite minimal, but the assembly does take some time. Toward the end of the day I managed another as well, but that one is not listed. I acquired 5 of the key charms so I stop at 5 of them for the time being anyway. I should actually wait and see if any of them sell before I keep making more, but they really are the perfect sized downtime project.

I spent much of the rest of the day at cleaning and doing some jewelry assembly. I had been getting quite lazy at the finishing as I was working on remaking the last dozen or so pieces. Most of the them were lacking clasps, but that's taken care of now.

Even with all the little tasks I manage to get done, I was still bored for something of substance to do, so I played with some patterns again. This one is another from an Italian magazine that I can't read. I took the basic motif and intertwined three of them. Even though I think it looks neat, I have no idea what to do with them. It might make a cuff it I add some hooks, but it would be a small one. I even thought about joining another set of three long ways, but again I think the diameter would be too small around. I hesitate to adjust the stitch count because that would just make the center space too unwieldy. So here's something to look at that I'm unlikely to use....well, maybe.

Today I have a meeting with my daughter's new home school teacher contact. We had the same one for the last two years so meeting someone new has me a tad nervous, here's hoping that things stay about the same. I really have no idea what I'll be up to with the tatting over the weekend. There are no big plans and I have no projects lined up despite a record number of custom inquiries recently. I answer them, they never return, I get annoyed, but what can you do. Have a great weekend all and I'll talk at you again Monday.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On Chains And Crystals

Everything was neatly done in order of importance as it was scheduled. My, but that sounds like it was a horribly dull was, mostly. I had other tasks to get on with as well, there was laundry and a bit of cleaning, but most of the morning was devoted to completion of a pair of barefoot sandals made ever so slightly larger.

Once those were done it was back to staring at the new cuff and deciding that a crisscross of chain would do the trick. I still think that a nice square piece of metal would look awesome there, but since I'm not a metal worker and I don't currently have any links like that on hand, this remains the current version. Perhaps it will gain a cousin in the future with the imagined bits.

I also took the time to out together a second charm necklace. I haven't photographed or listed this one yet. That will be on tap for today. I know I mentioned a slave bracelet a few times, but I still haven't gotten properly motivated to work out the significant adjustments needed to make the design work on a wrist. I'm sure I'll get around to it sometime.

The only other fun thing I did yesterday was play with my new hot fox crystal applicator. I recently acquired a ...we'll call it a unique t-shirt that I already modified to fit my small frame. Since it was crying out for bling, I decided to add this little goody and some crystals to my last supply order. It is oddly addictive and I kept searching for something else to add crystals too. I might try adding them to a bit of scrap lace just to see how they hold up as it is way easier than sewing on montees. Of course the montees are way nicer looking, so it likely won't replace them at all. Most likely my daughters will end up with sparkly skulls or other such nonsense on their belongings. Hey, at least its not a bedazzler...this is a grown ups toy, I mean tool.

So today I have the charm necklace to get listed and after that I find myself again without direction. Sure, the house could use some cleaning, but it's hard to look forward to that. Hopefully today will see an order or two that gives me something to tat. Well that or perhaps some unexpected inspiration.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Charm Necklace

A morning of tatting and I'm all caught up on remaking for the shop. Around lunch time my last bit of supplies for the new necklace arrived. I got that put together as quickly as possible and listed the first one. I did get rid of the filigree bit I tatted around and instead went with a simple black stone. The whole idea is to list a few of these with all of them being slightly different. The charms on the bottom two chains will likely remain the same, but the top will be different and the chains will have different finishes. Of course this is the only one I've made so far, well aside from the one I wear anyway. I had been wary of making something like this for the shop in the past for fear that the tatting couldn't stand up to all the abuse of daily wear with chains rubbing against it. I can happily report after wearing mine daily for quite some time, the lace shows no damage. Maybe next I'll wear a charm bracelet and see if it can handle that kind of absurd abuse.

After that was done I started playing with another antique pattern. I liked the picture better than the actual instructions so I ended up writing my own stitch counts and worked up a sample to see if it would work as a cuff bracelet. This is just that sample piece here. I was seeing if adding a bit of chain in the middle would add that little bit of fancy that I like. Since I did decided that I liked it, I went ahead and worked up a final piece though I'm still playing with the chain idea. On one hand I think it needs something, but I'm not totally in love with the look at this point. I may play with suspending something else in the open spaces before I finalize the design.

Late yesterday I received an order for a custom size pair of barefoot sandals, so that's the task on tap for today. If it gets done in a timely fashion, then I'll work on the cuff some more. Then there's always another multi-chain charm necklace that can be made. It's nice to have tasks all lined up and ready to go without a sense of urgency.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


The online school I use with my daughter did indeed load in the new year's lessons yesterday, so that was my first task for the day. We only managed to do two classes mostly due to the child's persistent protests. Honestly though that's all I was hoping for, just a nice easing back into the routine. It is already obvious that schooling will take more time this year, so I need the easing as well to get used to the lack of time I'll have for tatting and other business related nonsense.

Once that was wrapped for the day I fetched the mail only to be surprised by some goodies I hadn't yet expected to receive, including one of the supplies I needed for the necklace I've been yammering on about. So I went ahead and started assembling the bits I was going to use. I still have to wait for one more thing that will be in today to finish it and I'm not entirely certain about the filigree bit I tatted around either. I'll just wait until I get that last supply and then make some real decisions about it.

I spent the remainder of the day working on remaking things. Today I find myself down to just two on that list. I should get those and the new necklace finished up today and then...well, I'm not sure what then, but I'll think of something. I was thinking about making the slave bracelet cousin of the last ankle corset. It needs some serious modifications to work, but when it's just wrapped around my wrist, it looks pretty neat. I am however running incredibly low on the brown thread I used for the center parts. I ordered some more yesterday, but that means it won't be here until the end of the week at the earliest. It might be moot anyway since the addition of schooling to the schedule, just the remaking and the new necklace may eat up my whole day. Can you imagine there are still people out there who think I just sit on my bum all day? I know, right...well I do tat while sitting, but the point is I'm busy. I am now going to get on with it then.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lizzy's Diamonds

Well here we are again at Monday. Let's see what did I manage to accomplish over the last few days? On Friday I asked the twitterverse what I should make and I was asked to make a pair of barefoot sandals in a shade of brown. Usually that sort of request would have been met with a literal response of me making an existing design in the new color. This time it inspired a new one entirely. This one is a barefoot sandal that has some of the same aspects as the ankle corsets. Much of the design is higher and it ties closed with a ribbon. The first pair also immediately sold to the lovely customer that suggested working with brown in the first place. I did get another pair made, but that represents the whole of my Friday.

I was initially terribly excited to have my book review post on Saturday morning. Then I was disappointed with the lack of obvious attention. I don't know why I expected many comments on the review since I don't get all that many comments in the first place, but I suppose I can blame the Internet. It has created a culture where we need feedback on everything and if we don't get it we doubt the worth of whatever we wrote or created. Though I think the Internet has another lesson on this point as well. Bad things get a hell of a lot more obvious attention that anything that doesn't rise to the level of amazing. So I choose to believe that the lack of response is a general, 'it was okay'. If you didn't get a chance to read it and you care to, it's here.

Saturday also brought a sale I had all but given up on. I had received a request for wholesale a couple weeks ago I think. Since I don't do wholesale, I responded with an offer of a coupon code for a discount if they bought a certain quantity and they accepted. Then nothing until yesterday when the purchase was made. It wasn't horrible huge, but big enough that I have well over a dozen pieces that will need remaking. Which is what I mostly spent Sunday doing. I did also pull out the sewing machine to mod a couple of t-shirts and maul my thumb with said machine while I was explaining it's use to my four year old. Ooh, and I also dyed my hair and dropped the base of my hooded hair dyer on my foot just almost breaking a toe this time. I know, you're wondering how I haven't killed myself with a tatting needle or something yet. I really have no idea how I survive.

So today I have a level ton of tatting to get on with. There's the remaking from the bulk order and I also sold one of the newest masks, the unembellished one, so that's in the pile to be done as well. There is also the chance that the online school has loaded in it's new lessons for the year today. Even though school doesn't start until the 15th, I still like to get a jump on things and at least see what silly supplies they want me to buy. I'd even like to actually get started on some of it so we can ease back into it and get a bit of a cushion built up. I also expect a bunch of things in the post tomorrow including some of the supplies I ordered so I might be able to get the new necklace idea I mentioned last week worked up then. I'm already tired just thinking about the next few days.