Monday, April 30, 2012

Peter Pan Collars

Early Friday I decided that I was going to put all the remaking on hold and move forward with at least one of the new ideas floating about in my head. The one I chose was a tatted peter pan collar necklace. These things in leather, lace and other materials were featured in one of the etsy emails not too long ago and I kept thinking I should do that in hand made lace. I didn't need to start from scratch because I had already run across a vintage pattern that had the right basic shape to exploit.

Then came the countless adjustments to get it the way I wanted it. First I got rid of the thread space by replacing it with a chain. Then I redid the center flower bit to give me a wider and more stable base. I felt the collar bits should be more oval than the original design. This change was followed by changing the chains to zigzags. I think they give an older design a more modern feel...or maybe I just like them.

Next was connecting the prototypes to see if they would in fact resemble a collar at all. Then there were more adjustments to make them curve up at the outside edges and still more when I wanted the center motif to feel more joined to the outside row so I used some long picots and crossed them when joining.

In the end I think there were at least four different prototype pieces made before I busted out the white and black threads to make the actual collars. See, sometimes when I say I adapted a pattern, I mean I changed the length and slapped on a clasp and other times I mean I spent hours adjusting and tweaking until it's a different beast entirely. I made two and added silver thread so they would hand high on the neck. I think they look pretty much the way I imagined them and since they're done, I should get some proper photos today and get both a white and black one listed. I thought about embellishing them, you know hang something from the center, but I think they probably make a big enough impression as they are.

After I get these listed, it's back to remaking. I do feel completely revitalized by the new pieces. It really is amazing how taking a break to be creative gets me back to work. I do, after all, have a pretty awesome job.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Again, I managed to have a day where I was fairly productive and boring all at the same time. I started off with the pile of things that need remaking and got a whole piece done before noon. This is when I decided that I really needed to buckle down and go through my thread like I keep saying I should. I went and pulled out my three big thread tubs and went through both them and the two other storage boxes that hold thread in the living room. Then, and I know this is shocking to hear two days in a row, I wrote everything down. Okay, not everything. I do still have tons of, we'll go with lower quality thread that I generally don't use unless the color is required and I don't have it in Lizbeth. Those I didn't count since I don't plan on ever replacing them if I run out. Then I made a thread order, a large, unwieldy thread order.

At lunch I went out to get the mail and was pleasantly surprised to have received the order of veiling I made on Monday. This meant I could indeed finish the veil I had promised to have done and in the mail by the end of the week. It really does pay to under promise and over deliver. These little supply setbacks can't hurt you if you plan for their possibility. So that is now done and in the mail this morning leaving my order queue empty and just the remaking on my plate. Speaking of the remaking, I also got my finding order in yesterday as well. Of course as soon as it did arrive I realized that I had in fact forgotten to order one thing that I will need shortly and so I'll probably be making another order sooner than I'd really like, but that's life.

I still have quite a few pieces to remake and then I swear I'm getting to the idea I had the other day. It's not terribly awesome or anything, but it's new to me and that's all that really matters. I've been so absent in my other online haunts lately because I have to little to share. A new piece always gives me something to talk about that people with engage with me over and that's really overdue. So hopefully by Monday there will be something to talk about.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Wrote It Down

Well I was slightly more useful yesterday than the previous day. I got straight to work on measuring the chain lengths of the sold back drop necklace. Then...I wrote them down. I even went so far as to note the number of chains of each length as well as the number of beads, their locations and type. In fact I was thorough enough that I packed up the sold necklace and had it out the door by noon and recreated the necklace without it here. I realize this may not seem like an actual achievement, but I'm still pretty proud of myself. Of course I have literally dozens of other pieces that I remake by copying prototypes and looking at my old pictures and I keep saying that one day I'll write them all down. I know that I won't. It will take a separate necessitating event for each one to be done, but at least I know I can when I need to.

I still have half a dozen pieces to remake for the shop and of course they are all good sized pieces so I seem to be getting them done one a day, which is frustrating since I want to be doing something else. I'd stop remaking, but they all all pieces that sell fairly well and it is in my best interest to have them listed again as soon as possible. It's funny, as much as I enjoy making one of a kind pieces, they sell so slowly compared to my more repeatable pieces. I'm starting to think I might have to stop making so many of them and make the ones I do list, limited listings that just disappear after a time if they don't sell. I'm just thinking out loud here though, none of this has been thought out and is unlikely to become an actual plan.

I think that's it for me this morning. I'll likely be boring as long as I'm still remaking unless some outside force causes something interesting to happen that I want to share. So until that happens, I apologize for the dullness.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Another Useless Gift(revisited) by Luke Cheh

I was next to useless yesterday for no apparent reason. Sure, I got schooling done and I even managed a little cleaning, but I only managed to tat up one The first piece I wanted to remake sent me digging through my supplies for gears and when I didn't find enough in my stash, I spent a half an hour looking online for some so I could remake it. Of course they need to be a certain size which I was lucky to find as a set once, but no longer. Once I did find an assortment that would serve my needs I'd already wasted much time in the pursuit.

This was the point where I finally decided on a piece to remake and got some work done, but I was hopelessly distracted by another idea. Of course I still have too many things to get done before I can settle down and work on said idea, so I'm running it over in my head to make sure it's a solid idea and won't fade away before I get time to work on it. Yes, I am aware I could just write it down. You should know by now that I won't do that. I am lazy and a wee bit stubborn.

So today starts with getting a backdrop necklace made up so that I can ship one that just sold. I should really make two so I can stop the panicked copying that I do when one sells. I have prototypes on hand of the lace, but I haven't written down any of the chain measurements so they can easily be remade. Yes, I see we're back to my 'writing things down' problem already. Okay, just this once, I will write down the measurements before I ship the piece. Oh, I fear it's going to be another useless day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Size Matters

Completely against trend the person who said they were going to make a large order actually did so and in a timely fashion to boot. I know I shouldn't be shocked, but things rarely work out that way. Usually after several conversations the customers fall off the face of the earth without so much as a never mind, but I'm rambling now, back to the point. I was working on a bridal veil yesterday when I inspected the veiling  I had on hand and found several flaws in it, so I had to put that on hold to order more. This put me right to the next task of remaking the pieces that just sold.

You all know that I rarely write down patterns, but I do like to keep track of details, like how many repeats are needed for a particular choker or bracelet and as I was looking that up for one, I noted that I had changed the number on this one not too long ago. The truth is I've had to make several pattern adjustments over the years. Were they wrong in the first place? Nope, I've changed...or at least my tatting has. I've noticed bracelets that are somehow shorter than they were meant to be and whole designs smaller. It's become quite an issue for me. I've always had a pretty good handle on tension, it's the main reason I think my work turns out so uniform and not loose like most people assume needle tatting to be, but over the years it's gotten even better or at least tighter. Thus the stitches are smaller and patterns that were suppose to work up a certain size are now too small.

In most tatted work, size isn't terribly important, but in worn pieces, particularly ones that are worn around, like bracelets, chokers, ankle pieces and to a lesser degree, masks, it matters a lot. In the back of my head I'm worrying that I'm going to have to rework many of my designs the very next time I make them. For now I'm doing some measuring as I'm making to try and make small adjustments to keep things the right size. I bet you're asking why couldn't I just adjust my tension a bit looser. Well honestly the work looks better this way and the change was so natural and gradual, it would be hard to consciously step backwards. So in moving forward, I must make changes to those old favorites that I made up so long ago. Luckily this will only affect those pieces I've been making since the beginning as more recently designed pieces were make in my current tension. I just thought it was an interesting thing to note so I wanted to share. If anyone else has any insights or observations on the subject I'd love to hear them.

So today I am remaking and that will likely spill over into most of the week. I even had to quit stalling and make a supply order yesterday as I was out of the clasps I need to remake a few of the sold pieces. Next I need to actually sit down and go through all my thread to make that thread order I wanted to make the other day. I'm not sure when that one will happen though. Probably not until a custom order forces me to get a new color. Yep, it's going to be a long week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

So Hot

Remember how we had such extreme weather here not too long ago that I felt compelled to share it with you? Well this past weekend was it's evil twin, extreme heat. Well, now I suppose the hail could be the evil twin, but the point is, it was unseasonably hot. What did we do in the heat? We worked on the yards, of course, because we are not sane. We fixed the drip system and planted trees and plants. We went to a plant sale at the horticultural department of the college across the street and got more trees and plants which will need to get into the ground soon too. The real kicker is we feel like we are really bad at plants and every time one lives and grows, we celebrate. Truth is we've only killed a couple plants with our lack of skills, because we don't actually like to 'garden'. What we do love is the plants and the birds and insects they attract. Yes, I think we are a bit off, but you already knew that didn't you.

I didn't get much tatting done at all. In fact after working on the drip system, my fingers were so sore I was afraid I'd done some real damage and wouldn't be able to for a while, but I pushed through. I got a couple of small orders over the weekend that I must attend to today and there is a possibility that another order from a brick and mortar shop will be coming in soon. If that comes in I'll be a busy little tatter for much of the week.

I will also confess one last thing. I did try a new design over the weekend and it was, as the internet says, a fail. I had what I thought was a clever idea, but the execution was sloppy. It could still work, but it's not just going to fly off the needles like I wanted, it will require actual thought and preparation. So yes, I will get back to the 'fail' and it will eventually come to life. I just need to always remember to put the failures out into the world not only to prove that I have them, but to prove I know that I am far from perfect. So now it's onto the week ahead with calmer weather and hopefully tons to do.

Friday, April 20, 2012


I wanted to start off today by saying thank you for yesterday's well wishes. The sale went fairly well with a couple of people taking advantage of the deal and the remake necklace sold fairly early in the morning. I didn't spend much time promoting, just here ans there throughout the day, but I was still tired of it myself by the evening.

The one interesting thing I did yesterday was my first test tatting adventure. Sure, I've tatted patterns written in a ridiculous number of ways, but I've never been asked to test tat a designers pattern, so when Kelly of Tatfully Yours asked, I was pleased as punch to give it a go. What I was really surprised at was how hard it was for me to pay attention to the pattern at first. It seems I tend to just look at the picture and scan the pattern for stitch counts and then fully ignore most written instruction. I think I got that habit from working antique patterns. I really had to stop and focus to work it as written so I could catch any mistakes or you, know be useful at all with notes. I worked it up once without beads to get the feel for it and then with as it was intended and I thought it came out quite nice.

It was done with size 20 thread which I don't have much of on hand, thus the mauve. I don't tat much with my size 7 needle so it was also hard for me not to man handle it like I do with my 5. The thinner metal likes to bend and my aggressive style does not help. I did have fun and I quite enjoyed feeling useful, so if anyone else out there ever needs a needle tatter for test tatting, do ask.

Since I did sell a couple of things yesterday, I do have some remaking to get on with today. Other than that and schooling of course, I don't have many plans. Maybe I will get up to some design work this weekend, I think that feeling is returning in my gut.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

6th Etsyversary

I went back through my old anniversary posts yesterday trying to come to a decision about how to 'celebrate' this year. What I discovered was both sad and amusing. It seems I stress on this every year sometimes leaning toward a big hoopla and sometimes letting it pass barely noticed. So at the end of my trip down memory lane, I still wasn't certain which direction I felt like going in. I mean it is an anniversary of what was a pretty important decision, one that literally changed my life and precipitated my development as a tatter. Without my etsy shop most, if not all of my creations never would have been made because there would have been little reason to make that much stuff. On the other hand as I have no intention of stopping now, it really is just another day in a long line of them to come and maybe I should keep the big celebrations for the significant ones. As this is the sixth, it really doesn't cause much excitement so I settled for small acknowledgement.

The first thing I did was remake one of the first pieces I sold on etsy, It was one of the first that demonstrated any originality at all. Prior to this they were just a few flowers put together as a bracelet or an edging worked into a choker. While this doesn't show a whole lot of deviation from that, it was a baby step that would eventually lead to much grander thoughts. But I digress, I remade the piece with some minor changes and just one is listed today at the price I sold the first one for. I have since come to better understand pricing, so honestly this is a little painful. I figure I can just one like this.

As a small token of my appreciation there is also a coupon code for today only. You can use the code Anniversary6 for 16% off. Six percent seemed too little and twenty-six was pushing it, so I settled in the middle with the six theme. The code is good today only and everyone who uses the code to make a purchase will get a free surprise gift with purchase. That is my celebration of my 6th Etsyversary. Thank you so much for your continued support.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The one annoying side effect of actually knuckling under and working all day is the complete lack of interesting stories to tell the next morning. The day was completely normal. Sure schooling took a bit longer than usual because we did two history tests, but I'm not sure that qualifies as interesting. I spent most of the day remaking sold pieces. I did the finishing work I need to and then I finished a pair of barefoot sandals and got to work on a mask. Yep, that's about it...can't think of anything else worth noting.

So then on to today's plans. Well, they're just as exciting as yesterday's I'm afraid. I'm going to try to finish up the mask I'm working on and possibly another. Then there's a bracelet and a necklace in queue to be made. I also ran low on some findings yesterday so I might do a supply order. If I'm feeling adventurous I also need to go through my thread and see what I need to reorder there too. I saw there were new colors of Lizbeth yesterday and I've been waiting for them to make that medium charcoal shade for ages so I need an excuse to pick some up. That's all I can think of, well except for rack my brain to come up with a celebration event for tomorrow. Just don't be surprised if I wimp out entirely and let the occasion pass without much note. I'm just finding it hard to get excited about these anniversaries this year. Maybe it's just all becoming old hat and really all I'd be celebrating is that I managed to not quit again this year. Wow, that sounded depressing...I'm not depressed I swear. Maybe a in a rut, that happens often, I'll crawl out soon enough I'm sure.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Next Generation

The household managed to slide right back into routine without too much fuss. There was a little resistance to schooling, but not much and after that when I sat down to start tatting for the day the cutest thing happened. Well, let me back up a bit. When I was cross stitching the butterflies last week, the youngest child was lamenting that she wanted to do that too. I thought maybe the desire would pass, but she didn't let it go. So over the weekend I picked up a couple of kids cross stitch kits, assuming the older one wouldn't want to be left out. I started teaching them on Sunday, but yesterday when I sat down, they both pulled out their little hoops and started working. The oldest wouldn't let me photograph her though.

You'd think with the vast array of hobby crafts I've done, they kids would have learned tons by now, but they've showed little interest in all but the ones they really can't do yet due to sharpness of tools or harshness of chemicals. I admit I got a little excited thinking that they would take to this, understand patterns and then I get to start them on the path to knitting, crochet, sewing and of course tatting. I may be getting a bit ahead of myself especially since they require my constant nearness to help with tangles and the pattern and all that which may challenge my patience as I try to get my own work done. It is a nice thought though.

So I'm trying to knuckle under and get all the remaking done that needs to be done. I got some completed yesterday, but there is still more and I am determined to get caught up again. I've also been falling back into the nasty habit of not finishing the pieces I am making, not adding the findings, I mean. Today I hope to get a pile of lace all finished up and I don't think it will be much longer before I get the hankering to design something again...or not. I am still feeling pretty lazy.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Well here we are again back at Monday. Normality is about to resume and I still haven't decided if that's a good thing or not. I was extraordinarily lazy over the past week and weekend and even though I was making  a few sales, I wasn't remaking anything that sold. Instead I was finishing up cross stitches, playing games on my phone and basically avoid anything that felt like work save for a custom mask I needed to make. I'm not a complete slacker.

The week ahead contains my 6th etsy anniversary and I am still hemming and hawing over what if anything to do to mark the occasion. To be honest one day sales that do not contain a limited edition pendant have never really worked well for me and giveaways are at best a mixed bag. I guess I'll think of something before it happens.

I know this is a ridiculously short post, but I need to make sure I get started with the day so the weekly routine can begin again. I will leave you with what happened the day after the hail, which caused no damage for us by the way. The next day was still quite rainy with thunderstorms just missing up all day. Toward the evening we were treated to the now meme worthy double rainbow...all across the sky. And as a final note, go see Cabin in the Woods so I can quote the movie without spoiling it...seriously.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Sky Is Falling

Well, we went out adventuring again yesterday. We took a trip out of town to shop a little and go out to lunch and then home. It was a fairly unproductive shopping trip, which is probably a good thing is the long run. As late afternoon rolled around the weather got...we'll go with interesting. You see, our weather is boring... blissfully, predictably boring. The sky doesn't attack us here, at least not usually. The thunder began rolling continuously and the lightning flashed and flashed and then the truly odd event occurred, hail. Sure, we get hail here, but it's the size of grains of rice and that's how this started. Then it got bigger and bigger and as the family stood on the porch watching, it became golf balls pummeling everything. Again, I am aware that this is normal some places, but I've lived here all my life and never have I seen this before, so I took pictures.

Of course the weather wasn't the only significant event yesterday, though it was certainly the loudest. I wanted to say thank you for all of the congratulations I got regarding the magazine. I was excited to hear how many Canadian friends would actually be able to see the magazine.  If anyone does run across it in a store, I would love a picture flipped to one of the mask pictures on the shelf. Don't go out of your way though. The last thing I wanted to share actually occurred overnight, my 2000th sale on etsy (insert confetti and balloons). This is especially good timing as you can see in the screen shot my 6th anniversary on the site is less than a week away. Okay, it would have been better timing if it had happened that day, but I won't complain about that.

So, yesterday I shared a magazine article, the sky attacked and I made a milestone sale. I'm thinking today and the weekend, might pale in comparison. There are no more big family plans scheduled so I'll try to get back to tatting and the one last butterfly cross stitch while the rain continues to fall in buckets.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I told you that I hoped to start today off in a better mood and behold, I have...a much better mood. As is often the case, I overplayed those things that were to surely ruin the day. In fact the daughter's visit to the doctor was quite enjoyable especially since she needed no shots this go around. Then I got her all registered for kindergarten through our virtual school and we ran a few errands and went out to lunch, but what really kicked the day back into the positive column was the mail.

 I got in my copy of Flare Magazine in the mail. I assume anyone reading this from Canada actually knows what that is, but for everyone else, it's a Canadian Fashion magazine and that is the magazine which used a couple of my masks for a photo shoot titled Amazing Lace. This one here is my 'Between the Stars' mask made with black and hand dyed blue thread.

Then we have my first mask design, 'As The World Falls Down' in black.

Now, I'll be honest I was a little surprised by the styling. I somehow expected a dark, mysterious lace set. Instead this is light, bright and I'm guessing pretty darn trendy. I can hardly complain though. Right there on each page is 'Totus Mel' and at the back of the magazine my credit is listed with my shop link. So there you have it, tatted lace in a mainstream fashion magazine. Hopefully it brings in new customers and more opportunities, but even if it doesn't, the magazine was a pleasure to work with so I put this in the win column either way.

I've got more adventuring with the family planned for today, but I do hope to get those butterfly cross stitches done and then I swear I'll get back to tatting. I have imaginings to make.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Just Look At The Pictures

What a long, rainy day I had. If you didn't know Monterey is about two hours from where we live and though we often take a day trip to the Aquarium, we prefer staying there for a couple of days to avoid exhaustion. This is not always an option as it's not cheap and we can't justify the cost more than a couple of times a year. So this was a day trip complete with a tiring car ride. We arrived very early and it was nice and uncrowded and we saw the new jellyfish exhibit and wandered awhile before lunch, but when we got back things had changed. It was probably the most crowded we had ever seen it. I mean it was ridiculous.

We managed to continue to mostly enjoy the trip, but our patience wore thin quicker than usual so we headed home a little earlier than we would have liked to. When we got back home there were phone messages that mucked up today pretty good for me. You're probably aware that I like to have my days planned. Now, I don't mind curve balls occasionally, but they need to fit in the empty space of the day, not right where other things already exist. One of the messages was a last minute request for me to take someone to the doctor, which wouldn't be a big deal if it wasn't right before my daughter has to be to the doctor for her one appointment a year. I know I'm giving you more information than you need this morning, but I'm annoyed and it's raining. I was hoping for just the one task this morning, but it looks like there are more. There was another task left for me as well, while not as annoying, it was not planned and in combination with the first makes me extra annoyed.

I'm likely to be an unpleasant person to be around this morning, at least until all this extraneous stuff has been taken care of. I don't do well when I can't sit down and make something during the day that removes the stress. Hopefully I'll carve out a few minutes for me so I won't completely lose it and maybe I'll even get to start out tomorrow in a good mood with hope for the day. Here's hoping.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Free Time

I really should have shown you this picture yesterday, maybe then we would have all started out the day in a better place. This is what the husband refers to as, 'if I fits, I sits'. I am certain I have the internet and LOL cats to blame for the grammatical atrocity, but I suppose it is appropriate. This was of course right after the child had emptied the basket of all it's candy contents leaving a nice soft paper shred bed behind. The cat stayed there until he was over annoyed by the children who thought he was being adorable.

On to yesterday now. I spent the morning doing wunderkammer posts for the entire week so I would be free from self imposed obligations. That means that barring any immediate shop issues or custom orders, I am free to pretend I am on vacation too. Okay, that is only partly true, I still have dishes and laundry and a fairly long list of other tasks that never go away for me. These are the days I wish I was still a kid, but since you can't go back, we do what we can.

We went out to let the children spend birthday money and our last stop was Michael's. The youngest loves all the art kits things...okay, both the kids do, but it was her gift certificate. While we were at the checkout line I spied these mini butterfly cross stitch kits for a buck fifty so I picked up four of them to make for the kids. The youngest wanted to make one herself, but I'm pretty sure it would be unwise to hand her this tiny needle. Even if she could handle the needle, I've seen many an adult go mad from counted cross stitch. I told her I'd find a kids kit for her. You know the printed ones with the plastic needle. That would be the right path I think.

So today it's off to Monterey in the rain. We figured it might actually be nice to visit the aquarium in the rain or it might at least take the edge off the holiday crowd. Well that and we really have no choice if we want to go as it is supposed to be raining all week. I'll try to get some nice jelly fish picture for tomorrow's post since clearly there will be no tatting.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sorry For The Lecture.

More often than I would like I seem to be starting blog posts with some version of, I'm tired. Both Winter and Spring seem to do this to me. Winter for retail reasons and Spring for family and allergy reasons. Saturday ended up being two outdoor parties in a row as after ours, our neighbor, whose youngest was turning two, had one as well. So the day went: clean, wrangle children, presents and cake, clean and watch someone else do the same thing all on my feet. Yikes.

Sunday was more cleaning, candy and I baked my first solo ham. It was completed on time and it tasted good which was quite a relief. Otherwise though it was more child wrangling, and cleaning just this time with ham and pie. Still this morning I have dishes to put up and more dishes to clean. We had thought about starting our vacation adventuring today, but we will more likely use the day for recovery.

Normally I'd really complain about the drought in the shop immediately following the pendant deal, but I'm kind of glad for it given all the other things I was up to. I could do without the steady stream of custom request messages that have all, without fail, ended up with a resounding, never mind though. I'm starting to think I should stop answering them at all.  Not to mention a recent trend of people asking if it's okay to sell pieces they made after copying my designs directly or being 'inspired' by them. Don't get me wrong I'm still glad people are using my work to help them learn how to tat and I appreciate the asking, I just wish the thought would cross a few less peoples minds. Aside from my personal opinion about how it might affect me though, there is one point I'd like to make that should make more sense to those creators.

When you start an artistic endeavor with the intent to sell your work it is never wise to do so emulating another more established artist. It just just doesn't make good business sense. You will not have an identity of your own, something to set you apart from the pack. You will blend in. Even worse is that even if you have not copied directly, your work will likely be seen as derivative if not a complete rip off. It may seem like a good idea to sell the same sort of things that sell well for someone else, but it rarely works that way. I've seen people try to do that and undercut the prices of the original artist, but they're just selling themselves and the artist they supposedly admire short and they are training their customers to want things cheap. Their retail dreams are generally short lived.

Please understand, I have no desire to discourage people from tatting, nor selling their work. I just want people to understand the flaw in coming at it from this direction. The best advice I can give someone who wants to turn this hobby into something more, is to find your own identity and style, design your own pieces and find your own target audience. Being original is always better. Make others regret that they didn't some up with your idea first. These are the things that make it all worth the effort and believe me it is a lot of effort. Okay, the lecture is over, let the week begin.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Another Nothing Much Day

It was one of those nose to the grindstone sort of days yesterday. Since we didn't have to do school the two days of testing I felt compelled to do extra school yesterday to make up for that. Luckily, it was a particularly interesting block of lessons so I got no complaint from the child. Once school was wrapped I got a little cleaning done. After that was done I stuck with remaking and got both a necklace finished and a pair of ankle corsets as well. Of course that did take the whole of the day so I have little of anything else to share. The internet was fairly quiet and I got no responses from any of the people who had contacted me the day before, so I have nothing new in queue.

So today, it's more remaking followed by additional cleaning. Saturday is the five year old's birthday party, Sunday is Easter and next week starts the spring break adventuring which will likely contain some re cleaning after the tornado that is the family runs through this place two days in a row. I wish I had more interesting things to tell you, or a picture or two to show you, but I don't. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and just a quick numbers thing, I'm sitting at 4 sales until 2000 in my etsy shop, so once that happens, hopefully in the next week, expect annoying glee. That is all.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Again I start the day tired, only I'm not certain that I have nay real reason to be so. Yesterday morning was spent sitting in a hallway tatting while the youngest did a superb job of entertaining herself. Testing went much faster for the oldest on day two so we were back home well before lunch. As a bonus I managed to get much of a mask order tatted up while we were there.

Of course I didn't finish the mask until much later in the day and since it's the one that I stiffen with fa-brick it had an overnight drying session as well. There's a slight chance it will be in the mail today, but more likely tomorrow. I also fielded quite a few inquires on etsy yesterday one of which encouraged me to get back to remaking and to stop stalling on that. Who knows if the inquires will turn into sales in the end, but either way it would be wise to stay on task.

Other than that there is of course more cleaning for the upcoming weekend full of guests and following that is Spring break for the child and the husband decided to take it off as well. This means that my days will likely be full of unexpected adventures and tatting will have to sneak in when it can. That is another reason to stay on task the rest of the week and get as much of the needed remaking out of the way before I can't for a while. Well, I guess that's it for this morning...crap, I think I have a sore throat. Let's just cross our fingers that it's just a morning thing, okay.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


What a day, what a day. We left the house around a quarter to nine and returned nearly twelve hours later. I think a 'yikes' is in order. What did we do all that time? Well the day started out with me and oldest going to the STAR testing where I was roped into being hall monitor. Luckily, I had brought my needle and thread, so while she tested I sat and tatted. Interesting side note here, only the boys asked what I was doing and the teenage boys were the most interested. Weird, right? The girls just told me they liked my hair.

While we did that, the youngest daughter spent the first part of the day with daddy. Part of their trip included shipping off the pendant packages for me. Doesn't she look helpful! Then they shopped a little while waiting for us to finish testing. As soon as the oldest was done,  it was off to lunch and then on the road to Fresno, to visit the zoo. When we arrived there we were quickly reminded that it was Spring break for many kids as we had to park like a mile away from the entrance and hike to it.

We spent a few hours at the zoo which included taking in the bird show and a lot more walking. Then it was back in the car and to the toy store where the child was treated to a balloon, crown and many strangers wishing her a happy birthday as she spent her birthday money. Then it was back to our little city, but our adventures were not done. We went out to dinner with the compulsory staff birthday song and then to the comic book shop for a little Avengers vs. X-Men release event. I'm not certain that the children really cared about that part, but we did get more birthday wishes for the child and she got a DC Super Pets book as a present.

That takes us back home when the girls insisted that they be allowed to play some Dungeon Defenders before bed while I caught up on a days worth of emails and whatnot. It was an action packed day and my feet hurt, but the fifth birthday was a rousing success for the one person who really counts.

Today, it's back to STAR testing for us, only this time I have to bring both children and entertain the youngest for three hours while her sister tests. I also got a custom mask order while I was out yesterday that should be attended to, so we're going to see if I can tat a mask while entertaining a child and watching the halls for errant kids. At least this time, when we're done we'll go back home and rest. Then it's just a few more day until the birthday party, Easter and Spring break for us which means more adventuring. I miss when Spring break meant sleeping in and not getting dressed everyday. Oh, can't go back.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Aftermath

Let me just say this, shipping twenty-six orders in one day is not something I want to do on a regular basis. Everyone who has a little micro business judges how well things are going a little different. Someone who sells thousand dollar pieces of artwork might be happy with a sale a week. Supplies sellers seem to get dozens a day. Me, I'd like just one or two sales a day and that would keep me busy, so you can imagine this pendant deal is not something I'm used to dealing with. First there was making them for nearly two days trying to keep up as the orders came in on Sunday. Then, there was the one person assembly line to fit them with findings and ribbons. Then there was writing all the cards to go in the packages and getting each order put together. Then I printed all the labels and got the envelopes ready. Finally it was double checking the list, wrapping and putting each order in the correct envelope. I know it seems silly to write all this out, but I wanted you to get a sense of the tediousness of the task that took most of the day. On a nice note, they are all going in the mail today, so if you bought one, it's coming!

In other news, I got a special piece of jewelry in the mail yesterday. Remember the silver lace jewelry story I told you about on Friday? Well, I have my own piece and now I'm even sadder that it isn't just available for everyone to own. This piece is gorgeous and there's this nice weight to it being that it's solid sterling. I know it's hard to see all the detail in the piece, but you can literally see every twist of the thread all the way around the piece. Her craftsmanship shows all of my craftsmanship in the original cast piece. I'd go on because I really really love it, but since they are no longer available, it just seems cruel somehow.

If you've been paying attention at home, you know that today is the first day of testing for the oldest and the youngest has her fifth birthday today. We will be off on adventures most of the day due to these two events. I can't imagine that I'll get any time to tat at all, but if I do, it's just remaking again. Ah, do keep me busy in your own way, don't you.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Happy Monday morning all. Well, I think that the International Tatting Day pendant sale was a rousing success. Thiry-one pendants were sold and since I worked on them steadily throughout the day, I only have the overnight sales left to make before I can send the whole lot off to new homes. Even though I recognized quite a few of the customers, there were also plenty of new names which makes me particularly happy, since the whole point was to share tatting with new people and possibly hear less of that old standby comment, 'it's a lost/dying art'.

I did also manage quite a bit of cleaning early in the weekend, so now the challenge is to keep he house clean through next weekend. We have that birthday party to host and then there's Easter which means there will be ham. Sometimes I think holidays are solely an excuse for food and candy and when I say sometimes, what I really mean is I am certain of it. We also made a nice trip to a friends house over the weekend that lasted a bit longer than planned though it's pleasant to see how good the kids can behave when things don't go according to plan.

So back to tatting then, obviously I have quite a stack of things to finish up today and I honestly haven't thought beyond yesterday's event at all. I did begin it with at least a couple pieces that I wanted to remake still sitting in the queue, so I guess it's back to that when I finish this. Aside from that we have a long day of schooling planned today and tomorrow is the oldest daughter's first state testing. It is possible that I am more nervous than she is and I suppose that's a good thing too. Now it's time to take a deep breath and start a new week.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

International Tatting Day

Yes, I know I don't post on weekends. I'd like to say it's because I sleep in, but the cats prevent that quite soundly. I am posting on this very special Sunday for International Tatting Day, not for April Fool's Day I swear. 

This is the deal, this pendant is a limited edition design, available today only for $5 plus shipping in any color thread I have on hand. So click and buy and get some really inexpensive lace in your life. The idea is send more tatting into the world so this deal will also be posted on facebook and twitter to reach more people. Since I know many of you are already tatters and likely need no more lace, share the deal with others or send your own lace into the world. Happy Tatting!