Friday, September 30, 2011

Pearl Tatting?

Oh, how susceptible I am to suggestion. Please do not use this knowledge to manipulate me in the future though. Anyway, I got a quick note on YouTube asking if I had done a needle tatting video of pearl or maltese tatting. I responded that I had not and received a link back to some static photos to 'inspire' me to perhaps do so in the future...thanks for that Georgia. I had of course heard of the technique, but really saw no reason to learn it at this point. The patterns I'd seen using it didn't really appeal to me, but throughout the course of the day my lack of knowledge in this ate at me until I had to sit down and give it a go.

My first attempts were using the single needle, two colors and both hands. Boy was that a challenge. I finally got the hand of tatting with the other hand when I realized two things. One, I can now teach lefties to needle tat which may lead to a left handed video once I get a little smoother with it. Two, I didn't have to tat with both hands at all to achieve the pearl chain. All I had to do was turn the needle and tat the other thread with wrong side tatting.

I think I may soon find a reason to use the technique, but there are a few things I need to perfect first. Since you have to pull both working threads through the center I need to tat a little looser so it's easier to accomplish. I suppose I could use a third thread as a core and that might solve some of the issues, but honestly, I'm just figuring this all out as I go. I was too lazy to really search for complete instructions. Most of the ones I found just illustrated the chain in progress, never closing. Also I really don't like how all the threads end up in such different places when you finish the chain or ring and I'm sure the core thread fixes that. I guess I'm just muddling through.

In other news the spiders are ready as free gifts with purchase from the etsy shop. I posted it both in the shop and on my facebook page. I've got plenty of them made up so they'll likely last through the Halloween season.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Sometimes you just don't know where the day will take you. Yesterday took me to spiders. Lots of little tatted spiders. Why? I have no idea. Honest, I'm sitting here trying to remember what prompted me to work up that first little spider, but I'm coming up blank. What I do know is after I made that one I proceeded to dig through my grab bag of supplies for red and black beads and became determined to kill off the rest of a waning ball of thread with the little buggers.

I even used the opportunity to try out several different methods of making the same piece. Once the beads were gone I made some more plain ones until the thread was gone and the result is this small spider armada. What am I doing with them, you ask? Well I grabbed a few of them and made a pair of earrings and a necklace with some costume jewelry chain. You know, the mystery metal available in Michaels on a spool. At least I know it's lead free. Anyway, since the findings are so cheap I listed them as very inexpensive Halloween pieces.

The remaining spiders will be with purchase giveaways. I'm still trying to decided how best to set that up, but it should be soon. When I first started selling I would give customers a tatted bookmark with their order. This was of course back when the sales came once or twice a month and I had plenty of time to make up extra things. I look back and sigh at that since I probably spent more time on the 'free' thing than their actual purchase, but you can't go back. These spiders however are quick and easy.

I'm still sitting in a sales dry spells and my supply order won't be here for days, so I begin today with no project on tap. Again, we will just see what nonsense I get up to without an agenda.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

And Done

Ah, another day exactly as planned. I pressed the new pieces and got them all listed in one sitting. So that's brings us to a total of six new colored journey bracelets with earrings to match. I thought about making some more in other colors, I still have many rolls of Lizbeth that have yet to be cracked open, but I was getting bored with myself. Instead I buckled down and got that supply order put in that I've been stalling about. I really hate doing them for a few reasons. One, they cost a lot. Two, I always forget something only to remember it days later. And three, I always end up buying something completely unnecessary to get my item count high enough to reach the next discount level. I still haven't remembered what I must have forgotten to order this time, but the other two points are alive and well.

So that brings us to today's tasks. I need to finish remaking the necklace I was working on yesterday and then my day is wide open.  There is nothing left to remake and I guess I could bust open more thread colors or maybe I'll get creative and make some one offs. Though my shop is getting rather full and I fear difficult to navigate. Maybe I'll check my masks and see what is still listed as custom there and get those made. Yeah, I have no idea what I'll get up to, but you're certain to hear about it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Color

Sometimes the day plays out exactly as I write it will in the morning. I suppose you could call that a self fulfilling prophecy, but a rather boring one. Maybe I should start writing more interesting predictions for the day and see what happens. So anyway, I went ahead and listed the new fall color bracelets and earrings in the afternoon. While nothing flew off the shelves, the green and orange shades got plenty of views and hearts...the golden shade got no love. I decided that it wasn't a horrible idea after all and got to work on three more sets. I keep calling them sets, but I did list them separately, so I suppose that's not really correct, but you get the idea.

For the second batch I went with some more darkened shades, though these ones actually remind me more of Winter than Autumn. There is burgundy, brick and dark mocha brown. I really like this Lizbeth burgundy, it has a nice purple base where my other burgundy shades lean more toward orange undertones. So today I'll get these all pressed and listed as well. I also got one of the two necklaces I needed to remake done up yesterday so today I might get to the other. It's an ivory one and I think I might be dangerously low on ivory thread. I know I'm getting dangerously low on many supplies, so it's probably time to bite the bullet and make a giant supply order again. Better now that when the holidays are closer I suppose, but I do so hate digging through all my tubs to determine what needs ordering.

I wish I had more interesting bits to share with you, but it was a pretty down day. Hopefully today will bring a surprise or two and I'll be a more interesting read.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Is It Fall Yet?

Let's see, what did I do over the weekend? Not too terrible much really. There were the usual errands and visits and the temperature here dropped from 102º Friday to 80º Saturday. Oh, and it rained a little both Saturday and Sunday. Sure, this isn't all that interesting, but it put me in an odd mood. I got a escutcheon bracelet made for the shop and I went ahead and remade a couple of necklaces that the shop was missing. Hell, I even sat down and put the hardware on a pile of jewelry and it takes a lot or me to want to do that.

Then I decided that it felt like fall. Never mind that according to the weather reports that it will be right back to summer for the rest of the week. It felt like fall yesterday when I decided to break open some of the wonderful colors of thread that I rarely use outside custom orders. I wanted to just make up some bracelets and earrings that felt like fall so I made a version of my Journey bracelet in harvest orange, gold and green. I still have a brick red and a purple based burgundy that I'd like to use as well, but even I can only tat so fast.

So up for today is some more remaking as I was lucky enough to snag a couple of sales over the weekend. They have been very sporadic lately, coming in bursts and then disappearing for days, so I never know when I'll be busy. Then I'll get back to the fall colors and try to get some of them listed today. It will be nice to have more colors in the shop if for no other reason than to really show customers the available colors. So that's it for me, nothing else of interest. Let's go out there and have a good week, shall we?

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Lock

The lock, she is done. I went with the escutcheon and apparently that was what I should have done all along instead of forcing the idea into a padlock shape. An escutcheon can be dramatic and overly ornate and, well, it doesn't require a locking loop on top. Instead I used the same basic outside as my awareness ribbon pendants with some stitch count changes and then I created the key hole shape in the center. This is the second version as they were a couple of stitch changes made after the first. I already sold one of these and that always makes me extraordinarily happen.

Next up in the day was mail time. Along with some supplies I was waiting for, I got this little beauty. It's from Ann Martin who was one of the most recent winners of one of my giveaways. She is also, as you might guess a master at paper quilling. That is the one paper craft that really intrigues me...not that I have the time to learn another labor intensive, intricate skill. Anyway, this picture does not do the pendant justice. It's black, silver gilded paper and I looked at it with much the same awe that people seem to look at tatting with. I don't fully grasp how it's created so it must be magic, wonderful magic.

The last event of the day was the creation of this bracelet. It was a request from my cousin who saw the escutcheon on facebook. I wasn't sure the design would translate so I told her I try it out and let her know. It wasn't finished until late last night, so she still hasn't seen it yet. It still needs a good pressing, but I think it will do the trick. If I get the chance I'll make up a second one for the shop. Anything to keep from getting back to remaking sold necklaces. I am just not in the mood for production work right now. Well, I think that's it for me. No big plans this weekend so we'll just see where it takes me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No Lock

Oh, so much time on the silly lock and nothing to show for it. Seriously, I wasn't really happy with the lock bit so I tried at least five different iterations and I'm still not happy. Eventually I had to just put it down and walk away. I meant to come back to it in the evening, but I was just so burnt on the idea, I thought better of it. What I did get done was the key. I know they are meant to be together, but I felt the at the key could stand on its own especially after all your lovely comments on the design. So I made up another one it ensure the stability of the pattern and got it listed.

That was the only interesting thing that happened all day really. Otherwise it was a big old bore. I still have a necklace that needs to be remade, but I just didn't feel like it after I harvested the last of our sunflowers. That task left me sneezing, itchy and well, too hot to care about lace. So that, I suppose, is what I will get up to today. I might revisit the padlock idea, or I might shift the design to a key hole like I initially wanted to, only time will tell.

I can't really think of anything else worth sharing expect to keep your teenagers out of your online accounts. I got a message on etsy asking to hold an item, so I sent a response that I could for a few days. Later in the evening I got a message from the same account saying that their 14 year old had done so without their permission. While I'm flattered that my work appeals to the kids, that was an annoyance though not a big one, but I can now hardly wait until my girls are teenagers and I have to battle their future version of Internet activity. My parents should thank their lucky stars this stuff wasn't around when I was a kid.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Key

Yikes, yesterday was full off odd moments. I started the day with absolutely no direction, than as I was walking about doing normal morning things, I thought about making an escutcheon. I know, weird thought and it was the negative space that was giving me pause. Then I thought, why the hell haven't I made a tatted key yet? I love keys, but up until just that moment I was happy adding real ones to my work. So I spent the morning working this out. This is actually the third incarnation. Most of the work on the prototypes was making the handle clover more elaborate while still the right basic size. I went with the double picots, mostly because I had never had occasion to use them before. Oh and there's also the inward facing picot to give the top ring a little more shape.

When I posted this to Facebook, or more accurately, the first prototype, there were a few requests for a pad lock to go along with it. Since that's just a few steps away from the key hole I was already thinking about and would likely require a much more simple hole in the center to convey it's identity, I said I'd try. This is the point in the day when things got odd. In the space of ten minutes I received three different orders. This has never happened before. Three in one day, sure, though still rare, but I'd no sooner sent a confirmation email to one customer when the next order rolled in. It was surreal. I had to stop all work on the padlock to take care of a few custom bits and remake the other pieces. Oh, and just to be difficult one sold piece refused to be found and I had only enough supplies to make one more. When I searched online for the filigree bits, they were nowhere to be found, so I guess it's the last of that pendant.

After that all settled down I got back to work on the padlock idea. This is what I came up with after one other attempt late yesterday. There is still more work to be done on the design, some tightening of picots and whatnot, but I think the shape works. I still might flesh out the more complex escutcheon design, but I think this will make a nice necklace.

Oh, that reminds me I also listed a new necklace yesterday made for a bit of lace that I did not intend to make. I was distracted and started the wrong pattern and turned it into a square. I've got a few more of the square filigree bits I used here so if it sells, I'll make it again. Well, I think that's everything for me today. Here's to another weird one today!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Touch Of Skull

Everything in my custom order queue got off in the mail yesterday afternoon, but I took pictures for once so I could show them off a bit. Here's the small scale skull mask. There were more than a few deviations from the larger version of the mask, but the eyes and nose are the same. I had to change up the white a bit to make it work around the eyes and added a finishing row as well. I did embroidery throughout the piece for that tied together look and because it makes it sparkle of course. I still haven't decided whether I should make if for the shop or not. I suppose now that I have a picture I can pose that question to the Internet...your opinions are highly valued.

This was the other custom piece, a pair of Queens Feet in white for a November Pirate beach wedding. The customer had asked for a few white or silver beads at the center. Once I heard it was a pirate theme though, these filigree beads seemed the perfect addition. Sure, you're not going to find many pirates wanting crystals, but shiny metal baubles are just the thing. I also added them to the ends of the ties so they will dangle on her legs as well.

The other custom order was just a size change so no picture is really necessary. Then I spent much of the afternoon remaking a few other pieces for the shop and then I decided that if it wasn't made at this time, I wasn't going to make it again unless asked. So that means I am currently caught up in the shop.

Just a few more things to share. Victats shared that my mustache tutorial was featured in the jewelry roundup on One Pretty Thing. You know how much I love when those tutorials are shared around, more tatting exposure is a good thing. Also I am dying for the new Charcoal Lizbeth thread, but it's not in size 10 yet. When it is, I shall acquire much of I just need a shade in between that and the silver gray and I will be truly happy with my commercial thread color options. Think that's all the blathering I have to do today and we'll see what I can get up to.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Woo Hoo

For today's post we shall work backwards over the weekend if that's okay with you. Last night I got a strange convo with a simple line of praise. These sort of things rarely come out of the blue so I popped online to see if anything was going on and behold, my sugar skull mask has graced the front page.

I totally look forward to the Halloween season on etsy all year long because it's my time to get a little extra attention with my masks. Honestly they actually sell better other times of the year, I think because there are so many less expensive options to choose from, but I still get the attention with my fancy designs and that makes me pleased as punch. The feature also broke me through my most recent goal of 9000 hearts or people adding my shop as a favorite. It was a nice surprising evening though I received not a single sale as a result of the hour. Still a very nice cap on the weekend.

Saturday was spent at the faire. I left many dollars there mostly for the children and food. As you can see from this end of the day picture, they had a splendid time. Oh, we did too, I'm just grumpy because I didn't find anything perfect to buy and I left with a sunburn. Otherwise, the weather was lovely and we had a fine time.

As far as tatting goes, I've been working on a few different custom orders. The mask was purchased and I will finish it up, get some pictures and have it out in the mail tomorrow. The other customs were just some color changes and length extending. Those too need pressing and might get out in the mail today or tomorrow. Then it's back to remaking a few pieces for the store and deciding whether I should make the custom small skull mask for the shop or not. I'm still on the fence about it, but I have plenty to keep me busy. Oh, Monday here we go again.

Friday, September 16, 2011

More Working

Yesterday was definitely quieter than the day that preceded it. There were not dozens of emails to field and the children were actually quite calm most of the day. So, yes I spent a great deal of the morning waiting for the other shoe to drop while not getting much done in the process. Then I managed to focus and got to work.

I finished up the ankle corsets I was working on and the custom length bracelet. I lengthened the chains on two sold necklaces and I got the whole lot ready to ship out. This is the point where I was faced with a decision. I could go ahead and start remaking a few things or I could get started on the custom request that has yet to actually be purchased. Normally I wouldn't even consider such a foolhardy thing, but I actually wanted to see how this project would turn out so that's what I spent the rest of the day doing. It's not finished yet so I'll be sure to get a picture of it before the day is out so you can see it, just in case it does in fact get purchased as planned. Otherwise it will just get listed in the shop anyway. Oh, what is it? It's a small scale version of my sugar skull mask and by small scale I mean it's more of an eye mask and thus loses much of the sugar skullness. It should still retain the hint that it represent a skull though.

So I'll send out that order reminder email to that customer this morning and finish the mask either way. Then it really is back to remaking things for the shop. Every time I seem to get caught up, I just slide right back into the whole. I may be exhausted, but busy sure beats bored any day. We are also taking our annual trip to the Northern California Renaissance Faire this weekend. It's supposed to be a cool 74º in the mountains and it should be a lovely time. It also means I will likely spend Sunday just recuperating from walking about the day before thus getting nothing of interest done. I should at least have some nice pictures to share with you though. That will be nice right? See you all then.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


So much stuff yesterday. Well, nothing too interesting, but I was so busy yesterday even I'm beginning to wonder how I did it all without falling apart at the seams. There was laundry and dishes, schooling and some serious kids battles to mediate. There were ant invasions and countless other small tasks. The whole time I was dealing with the busiest etsy day I've had in a long time oh and did I mention the day long headache I had? There were a handful of custom request emails that required many back and forth messages, a few regular orders and well over two dozen messages just from etsy to field. On top of all that I had to, of course start working on a couple of these custom requests and stress about the one who still hasn't made their purchase. I am now exhausted just recounting all this to you and I just woke up.

I had two sets of custom bobby pins to make and I still have a custom length bracelet to finish on that order. On a related note, why is it so impossible to get purple to look purple using my phone camera? I swear these are both nice crayon bright colors, but the colors never seem to work and I was too lazy to get out the real camera to take a picture. Anyway, today I have some necklaces to adjust before I send them out and if I get that last custom order to go through I'll begin to work on that. Otherwise I now have a few pieces that need remaking and I still have one last ankle corset to finish up.

I fear that today will be just as exhausting as yesterday. Of course there's always the opposite and that drives me up an entirely different wall. Once I've had so many emails to answer and things to take care of I get all on edge anticipating the next communication and when it doesn't come I get all weird and antsy. This means I get less done because I'm constantly on high alert and distracted. Once the feeling passes I can usually get down to work and since I didn't wake up to a dozen more messages I might be fine. I guess we'll just have to wait and see huh?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


As I thought , yesterday was a big lot of boring. I tried to start a couple of pairs of ankle corsets assembly line style, but I just didn't have the rhythm down that makes it work well. This means I'll just e back to those today.

Since I haven't much to share tatting wise I thought I'd address something else this morning. After I made a small complaint in the giveaway winners post lamenting the normal lack of comments here I got a few emails from folks who can't comment since they get they read the blog via email. While it was lovely to hear from them it made me realize that I was falling into that trap again. You know the one where you think everything you do and say requires validation because you've spent too much time online where such validation is generally so forthcoming. It's the 'oh no, no comments means no one likes me anymore!!!!' Of course that is ridiculous, but this Internet thing has turned a lot of us into creatures who think that comments and views equal acceptance. That the number of followers and 'friends' are important to your status as a human being.

Intellectually I know that this is all a load, that what I write and create needs no outside validation to be of worth, but I still fall into the trap every once in a while. Please don't think I'm some sort of drama queen or attention hog because of these occasional whiny outbursts. I don't actually need any comments to keep writing, I do it as much for me as I do it for an audience. I don't need tons of views on my creations as long as I get the ones that count and I prefer followers and 'friends' of quality over quantity.

Thanks for reading todays rant. I'll be back to production work today though I did get an interesting custom request that I need to address today and if that goes forward 'll be working on that instead. It's an odd one though, so it may not happen at all. I can't make everything people seem to think I can. oFf to it then and have a lovely day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Wow, for the first time ever I was contacted by both winners I'm guessing as soon as they saw the post. So both those prizes are being sent on their way this morning. As much as I enjoy doing giveaways I think that I'm officially worn out on them for the time being.

In other news I did get the new kitty ears finished and finally listed too. Don't worry that's just a blond wig I'm wearing in the photo. My hair is freshly dyed all nice and blue and purple, but folks don't like to buy things other people have worn on their heads. We'll see how it's received now that it's listed and that will determine whether I bother making more or not.

Other than that I spent the day working on some ankle corsets just to get some extras made up. I also ran out to overnight a pair of them to someone very interesting. No, I'm not going to tell you who, but it's just another one of those might be something great, might be nothing at all things. You know how I feel about raising hopes, but it was, as I said, an interesting sale.

I don't have anything but production work planned for today, so look out for another boring post tomorrow morning. Well, this was quite a short post, but I've nothing else to share so it will have to be enough. I guess I'm off to my treadmill now.

Monday, September 12, 2011

And The Winners Are...

Well, I mentioned the giveaway a few times over the weekend to give everyone a chance to enter, so if you didn't, at this point it's your own fault. So without further stalling the winners are:

For the One of a Kind necklace, the winner is

and the winner of the Ankle Corsets is

The winners have until Wednesday to contact me with their mailing info or I draw new winners. I seem to have had a run of winners who really didn't want their prizes when I've done facebook page giveaways. I announce and I remind and still they don't contact me and then I honestly forget all about it. I can be contacted through etsy, DM'd though twitter or emailed at TotusMel at

I really want to thank everyone for stopping by and entering. Every time I do one of these I am surprised by the number new names I see. I just wish all these folks would comment more often so I don't feel like I'm talking to myself all the time.

Moving on, I did finish the set of kitty ears over the weekend though it seems sourcing the fabric covered headbands that would work best is going to be difficult and I'd hate to buy too many of them and then have the idea go over like a lead balloon. I suppose I'll just get this pair listed later today and see how it's received before I look to the future. I can feel the upswing of the fall shopping season starting already so there may not be many new pieces between now and Christmas as I focus my energy into keeping the shop stocked up. I'm made a short list of pieces I want to make multiples of so I'm going to try to focus on that and hope I didn't guess wrong on what might sell this upcoming holiday season. Of course I am easily distracted so I might head off in other directions despite these plans I've laid. In the meantime I'll try to keep finding interesting things to write about so I don't bore you all. I think that's it for me this morning, see you all next rotation.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kitty Ears

As of this writing, we just need one more person to enter the giveaway and I'll throw another super secret prize into the mix. I'm gonna go ahead and assume that happens and let you know what that prize is... it's a pair of my In Bloom Ankle Corsets. So if you still haven't entered by commenting on the giveaway post, you might want to get on it. This is the last time I mention it and I will pick winners Monday morning before I post and you know I post at an ungodly hour.

I was off most of the day with the kids at a field trip to the park. There was much play and merriment and I was pretty exhausted when we got back. I did however have an interesting idea. You see the whole tatted mustache thing got me thinking about about other costume bits I could tat up. I thought why not kitty ears on a headband? Well it turns out as easy as working up a tatted triangle is, making it attach standing up on a headband makes this a bit of a challenging project.

What I have here was the first prototype and though I wasn't happy with the stitch count, I had figured out the attachment method. I added along the bottom edge a set of mirrored chains that created a stand for the ear. An unexpected bonus was a slight curve in the design that means I won't even need to stiffen the lace. I really don't ever like stiffening my work, so that was a really great development. I still need to pick up some black headbands so I can sew a set of ears on, so these may not appear in the shop for a little while. I also need to make sure I can ship them in my existing envelopes...they should fit, but it's not something I've done before and I'm too lazy to get up and get measurements right now.

Other than the cat ears, I don't have any real tatting plans this weekend unless I get orders to take care of. I know I really should get some masks listed as custom made up just in case I start to get Halloween traffic. Honestly though, I don't get as much as you think...I'm pretty sure it's because there are a plethora of much cheaper masks to buy, but I digress. I have also included a picture of one white kitten in the basket that the cats have all appropriated with the help of the children and I'm off and you all enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Remember The Mustache?

I spent much of the day making up pieces that needed to be replaced in the shop and telling the kitties happy birthday every time I walked by one of them. They didn't seem particularly interested in the event, but I think they secretly love all the extra attention. There were plenty of entries for the giveaway as well, but we'll still need a few more if you want to see what else I will give away. You have until Monday when I post to enter by leaving a comment on the giveaway post here.

When the kids were down for their nap I happened to catch that Insructables weekly challenge was Mustaches. I generally ignore these sort of contests and challenges because of the limitations of using tatted lace for them, but not this time. This time I actually had a pattern already made up. I made my tatted mustache necklace as a bit of a hipster joke. They are very popular over at the etsy and I thought I'd join in with my own. All I needed to do for the challenge was take a few step by step pictures and post it there. So if you want to make your own the Instructable is here.

You can also stiffen it more and add it to a stick for that perfect ironic disguise or lazy Halloween costume. I've also been told it looks a bit like two birds kissing. Maybe in blue with yellow as the center ring and some long picots for feet. Point is, it's simple and available for you to play with should you have the desire.

I've caught up on the remaking of pieces so today is wide open save for the field trip to the park for the kids homeschool group. Well that and I really should get some cleaning done. I have really been slacking lately with no dinners or parties to host. Of course this doesn't mean I'll do any cleaning, just pointing out that it should get done. Well, that's it for me and please do scroll down to yesterdays post and enter the giveaway before it's too late.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy Kitty Birthday Giveaway

As you may be aware last November we welcomed two and then two more kittens into our house bringing our total cat population to seven. Yes, it has been ridiculous around here since then. As they were born at my in-laws house to a captured feral cat, we know today is their first birthday. This is what the first two looked like then...all sweetness and light. They have brought love, chaos and two tons of white fur into our lives. The chaos and white fur, I could really do without, but they'd probably be less cuddly bald.

But I digress, to celebrate this rare quadruple birthday I'm doing a quick giveaway for this one of a kind necklace that was created not too long after they arrived. All you need to do to put your hat into the ring is to leave a comment on this post. I'll pick a winner on Monday by random number generator to give everyone more time to enter to win. If I get more than 50 entries I'll add a second more awesome secret prize.

I'll just leave you this morning with a picture of three of the four much larger kittens now since I couldn't get them to pose all together and I wish you much luck in the random drawing.

EDIT: The second prize has been added to the mix, one pair of In Bloom Ankle Corsets will go to a second winner!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On Hearts And Other Simple Patterns

Yesterday went down pretty much as expected. We took a family walk in the morning. We watched the husband play video games, believe this is one of the kids favorite things to do and the while time I tatted, working on the two orders in queue and their replacement bits. After all this though we headed to the in-laws so the kids could swim and play with their cousins and eat the barbequed meat I mentioned yesterday. It was during this period that I did something mildly interesting.

I was finishing up a tatted ring, so I had brought my size 20 thread with me. When it was done, I just started playing around and decided to see the difference between the yarn I used for the scarves and this thread by working the same pattern with it. Of course the differences go way beyond just size as yarn creates a floppy mess that has a nice drape and the small thread creates a firm shape. Then I abandoned my earlier plan and mucked with the pattern.

Have you ever noticed that so very many patterns seem to have a flower or heart that can be created with them. It reminded me of how easy these variations are created and I do wonder how many people did start this edging and see the heart I saw. I'm sure it comes out a little different for everyone, but at the end you can still see the pattern it came from and I guess that's the point I'm trying to make.

When you really want to make something different and new, you have to go twelve steps beyond. You can start with the same edging, but don't stop with a simple outline. Start with the edging and build upon it until the starting point is just one small element or a lego in a much more complex structure. Some times it's nice to just doodle like this, just make small changes here and there, I still do it all the time obviously. Just don't ever assume that you were the only person to make that small leap. he problem comes with that assumption and when you stop here and never move on those twelve steps. No, there was no good reason I called it twelve steps other than to illustrate that it's more than a few.

So let's see, today I have another custom order to tackle. This time it's a ribbon bracelet with red ribbons. I also still have a couple of pieces that need remaking and schooling is back in session. It's going to be a long day, I can already feel it.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I have little to share on this holiday morning. Yes, I am still up at the crack of...OK we all know it's actually before dawn when I write, but yes I'm up. Even before I was working for myself I worked for a music shop that never closed for any holiday, so unless I've got actual vacation like plans, it's just another day for me. So, for Labor day, I shall labor because if I don't get things done today that just doubles the amount of things I have to do tomorrow.

I was most fortunate to receive two healthy sized orders in over the weekend. One contained, among other pieces, two bracelets that the customer wished in a different size, so those need to be made. The other order was three pieces that now need to be remade and listed again. It is such a relief to be busy after the bore of an August I just had. I tried to use my time wisely and design, but toward the end there I was just dragging through my days with no direction.

Let me see, was there anything else worth noting. Well there was a lovely email conversation with one of my favorite tatters. There was errand running and oh yes, I've been charged with making some pieces for my brothers wedding next month. I had offered, that even if my future sister-in-law just wanted some non tatted jewelry that I had the supplies and capabilities to make that for her and she finally took me up on the offer. I'm making some simple pearl bracelets for the flower girls which include my daughters and nieces. I'll also be making some organza flowers for her hair, though those pieces will contain just the smallest bit of tatting. I still have to wait for some supplies to arrive before I make those up though. The bracelets are done save for the last one which needs a measurement from someone I'm not related to in order to finish.

So today, it's finishing up those orders and remaking the sold pieces for the shop and toward the end of the day there will be barbequed meat and family...the meat is barbequed, not the family of course. Anyway, I shall leave you with the reason I didn't get as much done yesterday as I hoped. Someone all of a sudden decided she was a lap cat and I couldn't very well disturb the sweetness, now could I? Also these kittens are getting huge, in fact the lot of them have their first birthday this Wednesday. Maybe I should do a kitty birthday giveaway then...hmm. Well just be sure to stop by on Wednesday and see what I decided to do.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Another Tatted Scarf

Well, I may not have accomplished anything new and interesting yesterday, but at least I have pictures of the newest scarf to show you. I think I already mentioned that this one is just a simple, completely unaltered vintage edging. Well unaltered except for the use of yarn to create it I suppose. When I posted the pattern for one of my other tatted scarves, I think I pointed out that any symmetric edging makes a good scarf and if it's not symmetric, just double it upon itself and there you have it. This one worked up nice and quick, it took a couple of days. Well, that's quick given the sheer amount of length it needed. In fact if you were so inclined, working this one up with an even larger yarn would be really nice and fast.

I can't remember right now which book I snagged the pattern from and I'm far too lazy to get up and dig through them right now to see, but the pattern is just rings of 3-3-3-3 that join at the center and chains of 6-6. After the fourth ring you turn and do the opposite ring before beginning the next chain which joins to the opposite chain from the last cluster. See, easy and know you wanna make a scarf.

Other than that, yesterday was a mighty failure. I tried to replicate some of the inspiring designs I've recently come across, but nothing clicked. I tried three different designs and none of them wanted to emerge. I know it's too soon to completely give up on the ideas, but I suppose I was just lacking the proper amount of muse yesterday. I don't have much faith in things changing today either. I'm feeling a bit directionless right now. I mean, I want to focus, but it's just not happening. I know it has a lot to do with the recent lack of sales. It's hard to even get in production mode when those numbers are hardly moving. It's like pouring more lemonade into the pitcher when no one is buying just overflows and spills all over the table and make a big mess. No wants to have to clean that up. It might be time to make a list of what I want to get made so I can force myself to focus regardless of outside stimuli. Yeah, we'll see how that goes...or maybe I just need a long weekend.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


The mail came early yesterday and my thread order was there so I went to work on the custom order that I needed to finish and that is pretty much the whole of the day. I mean, I did press the new scarf in anticipation of photographing and listing it, but I never got around to it. I even stumbled upon a few more pieces of jewelry on etsy that gave me tatting ideas, but I just saved the images and did nothing with them. I know this may shock a few of you, but basically once that order was done, I took a break for the rest of the day.

So what then is on tap for today, you ask? Well, I guess I will actually get some scarf photos and get those listed. I also sold my first ribbon crest necklace yesterday, which was my first sale in almost a week, so I may go ahead and make up a a few in other colors. Not sure though since I am running low on the chain I used and I'm not really ready to make a supply order right now. I might just do the tatted portions and save finishing them until I am ready for that order. I just like to wait until I need a good amount of things so I can get a better discount on everything. If creativity strikes, I might play around with the new ideas I got from other jewelry. So yes, it's another one of those unplanned days that could go any direction. Which way will I go...which way, which way? (p.s. the jellyfish, as a drifter, represents this dilemma perfectly...also it's pretty and I don't have any new cat pictures.)