Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Eye Patches

Another day, another dent in the pile of tatting. I'm actually pretty proud of myself for keeping a nice steady pace on the large order and keeping the same sort of pace on everything else. There was a time when I would have stopped doing everything else to work on the order. I mean no walks with the kids, no dishes or laundry and I would revert to drive by eating habits. Now I take a deep breath, do what I should do during the day and give myself a quota on the tatting tasks to be completed in the day.

Yesterday's goal was to finish the wire covering on the eye patches. I only had a few left to do and they take less time than masks so it was entirely doable...or they did take less time until I discovered that Lizbeth thread likes to twist more when doing this task. What does that mean? Well, it means that my normal method of covering the wire which is a one direction knot I can do fairly quickly wasn't cutting it. As the thread twisted it because tighter and less effective at actually covering the wire basically leaving visible spaces between knots. So I had to change methods and use the more traditional double stitch to cover them which is much slower for me in this application. It also proved more fiddly in many places, but worked much better in covering the wire nicely. I got so used to using the black cebelia with most masks that I didn't realize that the Lizbeth colors were going to behave so differently. Of course I've been surprised by thread behavior before and I probably will some time in the future as well.

So today my quota is to finish one mask, maybe two if it goes quickly. Then I have a necklace and a pendant to remake for the shop. Business has been pretty consistent lately, not terribly busy or full or large sales, but a nice steady trickle and that's a nice feeling really. I certainly hope things continue like this for a while because it's the perfect pace for when school starts up for the kids again in just a couple of weeks. I'm counting down just so it won't sneak up on me or them.

Monday, July 30, 2012


I feel like if I start yet another Monday post with the sentiment, 'what a weekend', you're just going to skip reading on Mondays, but yet another one it was. I had my large mask and eye patch order to work on every time I got a few moments, but there were so many other adventures to take my time. Saturday we had a cement path put in on on the side of our house and spent way more money on it than I hoped, but it's existence with reduce a lot of aggravation on trash day alone. Then there was a birthday party for one of the kids across the street with much sugar and silliness. Sure the rest of the day was a normal Saturday, but we were already done in my the morning activities.

To make the weekend more interesting the husband has been upgrading our computers and switching mail clients on my systems which means I was allowed limited access to them much of the weekend leaving me strangely attached to my phone. It's kind of sad how often I felt the need just to be near my computers, but on the other hand I did get more tatting done than I expected with the electronic menace otherwise occupied. This is the pile of tatting before I got the last mask tatted. The next and final task is to cover all the wires of every piece and do the finishing work on them.

That reminds me, last week I started to get an odd tingle in my left pointer finger at the tip. It wasn't numb, it didn't hurt, but it was annoying. When I consulted the internet it was suggested that it could be a nerve problem that might actually be in my back somewhere and given the amount of stress last week dealt me twisting my back muscles in knots it seemed a logical hypothesis.  I used my massage pillow until my back was sore to try to fix that problem. I also got myself some of those stress relieving craft gloves because it seemed like a good idea to give all the easy fixes a try before I allowed myself to get concerned. So as an apparent result of the massage my back feels much better. As a result of the strange gloves my hands allowed my to tat much longer without complaint. Now, I'm not sure which one of them gets the credit, but the tingle is gone now too. So I think more frequent sessions with the massage pillow and I shall now tat with the strange gloves on all the time to test their long term usefulness.

So now that I've told you stories you probably care very little about we are firmly in the realm of what's next for this week. Of course I will be working on the mask and eye patch order much of the week, but I think I'm on track to finish it before the week is out. I'm also trying to keep up with remaking things for the shop. I keep thinking I should just finish the order, but I gave them a proper wait time that allows me to keep up with the shop. It would be really silly of me to do any project that makes that balance suffer too much. Either way it should be a busy week for my thread and needle and me of course, but what else is new.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tatting Rules The World

I was a production line yesterday. When I got this big order, I told the customer it might take weeks to complete because I like a little cushion on things like this. I know that I work pretty fast, but what if life gets in the way? I was fully prepared to go at a nice steady pace until I got paid and realized that I won't get any of that payment until I ship a finished order. Money, as always, is a strong motivator and I worked hard yesterday.

I decided that I would work assembly line style doing each part on all the pieces before moving on and leaving the mindless, but terribly time consuming task of covering wires until the end. I am fairly certain I will regret that choice when I get to the end, but it seemed like a good idea. It also means that I don't get to count down piece done until then either. So a day and a half worth of work and technically nothing is done yet. A bunch of things are almost done though and you know what I'll be doing today. Don't worry, I'll keep taking pictures of the work to liven up the boring bits.

I do have one not so boring bit. Remember the Maclean's article I mentioned? well, it went up online yesterday. I looked for it after I noticed a few google.ca searches in my shop stats. It's up on their fashion page which does not appear to have a direct link from the front page of the magazine's site. The article is here though and now that it is up for everyone to read I do want to talk a bit about it now. So go read it if you want and then come back and finish this post.

First, I do wish it were longer. Don't get me wrong it's great and I appreciate the exposure for both myself and tatting, but I know she talked to a ton more people than were quoted in the article because I sent many to her and I'm sure they all had great stories to tell. Second, while I'm flattered by her description of me, I'm also kind of embarrassed by it. I mean I've tried very hard to expose tatting to new people and bend it to my own sensibilities, but there are so many more tatters out there who have been innovating for years. Somehow it makes me feel like a super egotist standing on a hill screaming, "I rule the tatting world!". I don't believe that at all. I mean I do have an ego, you know that, but I believe that there are many "guiding lights" online and off, people who are much more talented than me, ones that teach more people and that make jaw droppingly beautiful things and write books. I suppose they are minor complaints really and I am giddy over being in a major magazine with my pieces for once. I also loved reading quotes from other tatters that I recognize. So I guess all in all it's a good thing. Tatting Rules The World!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

That's Better

So it appears the Universe was listening yesterday as things started going a bit better for me. I mean, sure I started the day with a horrible and arduous gardening task and yes, I did end up hauling out the giant carpet cleaner to take care of months worth of cat messes that occurred in one unfortunate spot, but it got better after that.

The customer with the missing package continued to be quite reasonable and contacted me pretty early in the day so I didn't have to stress over it. I will be remaking her pieces, but I needed to order more beetle wings to do so. I spent the morning remaking the necklace base that they will go on once they do arrive. I even made a second so I can do one up for the shop at that point as well.

Then I began a conversation with a repeat customer that had purchased things for their brick and mortar in the past and was looking ahead for some masks for the Halloween season. It was truly refreshing to deal with someone thinking so far in advance because I knew whatever we ended up working out I would have plenty of time to get them made and sent before the season arrived. Of course as a little bit of a back slap from the universe the purchase was made with Etsy's internal credit card system. What's wrong with that? Well, the systems one big drawback in my opinion is this sort of circumstance. You see, you don't get the money transferred to you until you mark the order shipped. This means I won't see a dime of the already made payment until I finish several eye patches and a handful of masks. I mean, I'll live of course, but what if I needed that money to buy supplies for the order or something? Oh well, it's a minor complaint really.

As you can imagine, I'll be working on this order for some time, though having to wait for payment until they're shipped is sort of a proverbial kick the pants to get them done sooner rather than later so I'll speed through them as fast as I can manage without hurting myself. I'm already ridiculously sore this morning from those household tasks I undertook yesterday so I should really take it easy. I won't though. I'll keep working as usual hoping the Universe continues to throw better things my way and I'll also try to remember to take a few pictures to liven up these wordy posts.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Man, I cannot catch a break this week. I was all ready to be slightly productive yesterday when I read through my emails to discover material reclamation messages regarding the kids school stuff that we only recently received. I was further confused when attempting to log into the school site and got the message that my account was no longer active. This led to an early morning phone call to one place where I was informed that their records show the kids as withdrawn and I'd need to call the school to find out what happened when they opened in two hours. What the what? So I had to wait those hours to call the school enrollment people and when I did and they said they'd fix it, I still had to wait hours to find out it was in fact fixed.

So even if I had been able to be productive despite the recent cat events, it was thwarted. Instead I cleaned as I'm wont to do when I'm stressed, annoyed or angry. I'm told this could be a healthy way to deal with those emotions with the side effect of getting the cleaning done fast. Of course those people have never been in my way when I was cleaning.

Once that drama was fixed up I was able to relax and work on doing a little remaking for the shop and I actually felt fairly productive the rest of the day even if it wasn't anything significant to share. I was also quite touched that so many of you left comments about yesterday's sad news and so many more of you sent emails. It's crazy how many people have a Boo in their lives and I appreciate all the support.

I was hoping to say that today would be better, but I woke up to a message on etsy letting me know that a package I sent to Germany in May never arrived. Of course it didn't. To make matters worse it was a larger piece, one that I never remade either. So the options given to the customer were a refund, which is always painful or to wait until I order more beetle wing cases and remake the piece to send a replacement, probably more painful. On one hand it's always a bummer to send back money, on the other at least I wouldn't have to worry about another package going missing past the borders. Unfortunately to track packages overseas requires much costlier postage than most people are comfortable with. Luckily these occurances are fairly few. Too bad it didn't happen with a small pendant or something more easily replaceable or refunded.

So today I'll be not so patiently waiting to hear the customers preference thankful that they seem reasonable so far and hopefully they continue to be. Otherwise I will be again fairly useless while my brain is playing out worse case scenarios. It's only Wednesday and I think I want a do over on the whole week. Look Universe, I'd love a little reversal of fortune for the rest of the week. Nothing fancy, just a nice change of pace from sad, uncomfortable and disappointing if you will. That would be great, thanks.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bye Boo

I have sad cat news to share this morning. Yesterday we had to put one of our older cats, Boo to sleep. He had developed a tumor some time ago and was otherwise doing just fine until just a few weeks ago. He slowly grew thinner and weaker. We know we should have done this sooner as the last week he got really bad, but we were having trouble being grownups and letting go. Luckily I have a saint for a mother-in-law and she offered to do this final task for us.

Boo was a hobo kitten that showed up on our upstairs apartment doorstep over a decade ago and wouldn't go away. I told the husband not to let the kitten in while I was at work and he of course did anyway. He was a good cat who loved company, but was never too fond of the kids. I think this was easier than putting down our oldest cat two years ago, but just barely. This picture was from his kitten days with our oldest cat, Cleo. As he got older it was hard to tell the two of them apart until you looked right in their eyes. So we're down to six cats now and I've informed the rest of them that they are to be Methuselah cats who live far past their usefulness and die calmly in their sleep. I certainly don't think I can handle another of these tragic illnesses any time soon, but there are still two older cats left and I dread when the sibling kittens are all old at the same time. It's going to be a nightmare.

So as you can imagine I got little to nothing accomplished yesterday oscillating between overly emotional and emotionally numb. There was a little remaking, but nothing of consequence. In a strange coincidence the one thing I did sell and remake yesterday was my cat ears headband. The Universe has an odd sense of timing. I'll try to get some of the things done today that I wanted to yesterday, but no promises. I'm likely to be a bit broken for a little while longer and therefore almost useless.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Bit Of This & A Bit OF That

Sometimes I really do wish that the weekend were longer or cooler, but I got neither this weekend. It was short and hot and I spent more of it remaking things than I had intended. I did get some new invisible threads to try out though. Three different brands and a second roll of the sulky because they have this metallic clear that I think might add a sheen that the others may not. Other than that one though they all work up the same which is pretty awful. I did a couple of test pieces which I failed to take a picture of. It seems the way to make this work at all is to add the invisible thread to size 20 thread until I reach the same size as size 10 thread. The invisible stuff make the worked up white piece look a bit discombobulated as it sits between stitches, but it will lay the same and hopefully will provide the sense of slightly transparency when hit from behind with light.

I'm also mentally working on pattern ideas to fit the art project. I'm waiting for some final sketches and a bit of feedback from the artist to make final decisions though. I'm never really worked with other people on a project, so I felt it was best to take it slow and not get ahead of myself  so that we are on the same page. I don't want to be the one who mucks everything up. Of course until it's actually being done I will continue under the impression that my participation may no longer be required at any point. It's best for my psyche.

In other news I was informed on Friday I believe by a subscriber to Maclean's Magazine that the tatting article many of us are referenced in is in the recent issue. I have no idea if it is on the stands yet since I don't live in Canada, but the same customer scanned the page and emailed it to me. I have to say that while the general tone of the article is great, I wish it were quite a bit longer and I'm a little embarrassed by the characterization of me. I hear tale that they generally post articles from the print edition online about a week later. I'll be keeping an eye out for that so everyone else can see it.

Oh, I almost forgot to share the one new thing I did make over the weekend. One of my customers wondered out loud on twitter if the heart pendant she just purchased from my could possibly be put on a ribbon as a headband with crystals. The wondering was several tweets long. I thought, sure if I stiffen the heart so it doesn't misbehave. I made her a pink one and followed up with a red on for the shop. I sewed on matching swarovski crystals and then used fa-brick to stiffen it from both sides. I find this stuff is great for pieces that need to hold their shape through wear. The lace shows perfectly with a  slight sheen and as a bonus it remains flexible without cracking. I wouldn't use it on jewelry because I love the natural lace, but for this kind of use, it's perfect.

Today will likely be more experiments with clear threads and possibly some more remaking or another heart headband or two. They work up fast, but the stiffening is a delicate job and requires some significant drying time, so it would be wise to do that step in batches...that is if I really think more of them will sell. That, I haven't decided yet.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Another day will not much to share I'm afraid. I spent most of yesterday doing exactly what I did the day before. Only today I'm much closer to being done with the list. I'm working on one piece to increase stock in the shop and after that there are probably just a couple more small pieces that could be remade. They're nothing too important so I might skip them in order to start experimenting.

That interesting project I mentioned yesterday acquired a few new details and though I have to wait until next week for some final dimensions to really get started on it, I have one bit I can start working on now and it will require some experimentation. I was asked if I can work with more transparent thread for one section of the work. I use invisible thread all the time for sewing things to tatting, but I can't say I've tried tatting with it. Of course a little quick internet search after remembering that someone did, landed me at Jeff Hamilton's blog. He luckily already did the math on how many strands to use for an all invisible thread piece, a really interesting looking snowflake. I'm not certain that's the way I'm going to go yet, but it's nice to know it's completely possible and now I have someplace to start.

My plan is to try out different combinations of invisible and white thread to get a certain light effect from the finished piece. Normally I dislike doing a lot of prep work for things, but this project will absolutely require it. No, I'm not really going to reveal what I'm working on. I don't think it's a big secret or anything, it's just ultimately someone else's art project. I figure I'll wait until the completed work is displayed and then share. Until then you get me working on the pattern and my part. I don't even have a solid timeline yet, so really not worth too much sharing. That being said, if anyone has any invisible thread advice, brands that might work best, brands to avoid playing with, please do share. I would really appreciate the heads up. I think this project might be around for a while.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


You'll never guess what happened yesterday while I worked away on remaking pieces for the shop. That's right, something interesting fell out of the sky. Or more accurately something interesting fell out of the internet.

Along with an etsy order yesterday there was a note from the customer explaining that they were an artist and might have a commission for me if I was interested. What's even more interesting about all this was when I checked the website provided, I recognized the work as something I had very recently seen online and was impressed by linked to by another artist friend. The internet makes the world a very small place indeed. Anyway, I don't have all the details yet and much still has to be worked out, but if things do work out I'll be providing some lace for an art installation next year. That's something interesting, right? Even if it doesn't ultimately work out, it definitely took the routine right out of a mundane day and that's a good thing all by itself.

I also had one of those wonderful, but annoying sales. Actually it was the sale I already mentioned. I was busy remaking a second pair of the exact piece that was sold because I like to keep two in stock which means that as soon as it was done, I had to just start another. This is great because it's a nice sized sale, it's annoying because now I feel no closer to being done with my queue even though I spent nearly the entire day in production mode and today will be the same. It's okay though, it will keep me busy and I do like busy. I'd also like to avoid doing any more house or yard work as I keep running across things that need doing and instead of ignoring the tasks I keep doing them...and I don't like that. So here's to a day of tatting, interesting projects falling out of the internet and more surprises from the Universe that I don't know about yet.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


We have now reached one of those days when I have nothing new to show you because I spent all or most of the day working on things you've already seen. This is the biggest drawback to nearly daily blogging, some of those days will inevitably be filled with absolutely nothing interesting, but I will feel compelled to write about that nothing anyway. Then you will read it and not be able to get those five minutes of your life back...sorry.

To make matters worse, today will likely be exactly the same. Sure I might run some errands or something interesting might just happen to me out of the blue, but current plans include only more of the same from yesterday. There are still about three of four pieces in queue to be remade and until I complete that list, interesting things will have to come from somewhere else. So that's it then. I shall work all day and cross my fingers that the Universe will drop exciting tales from the skies. Exciting tales of adventure and riches. Oh, just let me dream while I tat the day away.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New and Now I'm Tired

Man, did I make Monday count and I think I regret it this morning. I did the dishes, laundry, vacuumed and cleaned all the tile floors downstairs. I went on a walk with the kids in the morning and remade two sold pieces for the store. I had a few long email questions to answer and pulled weeds in the front yard. No, I'm not sure what got into me. I suppose I was making up for a week of general sloth, but this morning my back is a bit sore and I'm not entirely sure that I even want to be awake at this point.

I also got the new piece done, photographed and listed. I really like how these turned out. I used actual metal chains on the side of the design instead of tatted ones because I thought it gave it a little decorative touch without taking away from the lace. They also weigh down the sides on the center motif just a bit so it lays better on the foot. Usually I would use silver plated, but since it's on ones feet, I opted for the inexpensive silver toned stuff. It's lighter, but it does the job. These also look cute in shoes as well which is why I'm calling them both barefoot sandals and ankle corsets. Since I used the Ambrosius pattern, I can do them in two colors as well. I might even do that at some point just to have them listed as such, but I still have a few pieces that need remaking that I want to get to first.

So that's my task for today, work on getting some things remade. Since all the housework...OK, most of the housework is caught up on, I think I've earned a good sit on my tush and tat day. Just me, my needle and thread...and the kids trying to kill each other because summer is one month too long. C'est la vie, right?

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm Back

Home again, home again, jiggity jig. That's right, vacation is over and as the husband is back to work today, so am I. Will I miss it? Well, yes and no. I was itching to get back to work, I just can't maintain lazy nearly as long as I would like to. I am however going to miss the cool, cool air of the coast and the big meals that someone else makes for me. Not their prices though, those are awful.

I did in fact get something done already. I spent some lazy movie  time making up the final version of the newest slave bracelet design. The only problem with the first one was the finger loop. I crocheted them while I was tatting using the working thread and the first go I made it too short and it was a bit tight even on me. Unfortunately since I made the piece in one go and with one length of thread, I just couldn't bring myself to cutting it up to redo that section, so I made a whole new one.  I was a little worried at first with this one as well because my tension is always so much tighter when I know what I'm doing as apposed to designing as I work, so this one seemed a bit smaller. Luckily a quick steam and it was perfect.

Today I'm hoping to get the second barefoot sandal version done. I've got one of the pair knocked out, so it's possible that I'll have them done and listed today as well. Then it'll feel like I really am back to work. Of course I also really should attend to the floors around here as I've been ignoring them as part of my vacation. I might save that for tomorrow though. I wouldn't want to rush into too much, now would I?

Friday, July 13, 2012

One Last Day

It's our last morning on the coast and I've done absolutely nothing of consequence. Although I suppose that is what vacation is for. The only down side is how much work awaits me when we arrive home this evening. Also as I've vacationed with kids I've learned there now needs to be a recovery time from the vacation as well. That doesn't mean it wasn't worth it though.

When I get back there are photos to find and email to people. There are a few orders to pack up and ship out followed by the remaking of the few things that sold. Then there will be the unpacking of the school boxes that arrived for the girls just before we left. Yes, it promises to be a busy weekend recovery. Oh, well, it was nice while it lasted.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


We had a lovely day in Monterey on our 14th anniversary yesterday. Of course I had some interesting emails to deal with, but I'll get into all that when I'm not blogging with my thumbs on my phone. The weather is chilly, the ocean is beautiful and the kids are generally behaving so I have high hopes for the rest of the trip.

I didn't even tat in the car on the way over here, but I have a feeling there will be at least a little down time today so maybe a little bored time work will be in order. That's pretty much it for me this morning. Here's hoping you all have as wonderful a day as I'm going to!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm Off

Just in case you were wondering, yes yesterday was might bit better of a day. I still managed to be far too busy for much tatting, but I did thankfully get a couple of orders with the coupon code, one of which required a little making. So when I was given a little time, that's what I did. I honestly thought I'd have to wait until after the trip to make them, but everything is in the mail this morning. I'd also like to thank Fox for thanking me. I know that seems a bit silly and circular, but she called me 'the best' along with some other very complimentary words and after the day I had had it was the best thing ever, so many public thanks for that!

I'll be off to the coast in just a few hours and I'm still deciding whether or not to bring some tatting. In the past it was a no brainer to do so. The kids took afternoon naps at the hotel and I needed something to do, but they're getting bigger and even though the five year old still takes naps on normal days, she skips them whenever we adventure so I can't expect her to take one on the trip. So, will there even be any down time at all is the question. I suppose I'll bring a little anyway as there is the car ride and most of the view from here to there is nondescript.

I will of course still be checking in here during the trip, but I'm going to stop writing now so I can finish getting ready. I really want to miss all of the 106º-109º F temperatures that are predicted for the next three days here. Here we come Pacific Ocean.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


What a day, what a day. I do not mean that in a good way. I'm usually a fairly roll with it sort of person. I try to let things go and move on whenever possible for my own sanity and that of others, but sometimes the littlest things snowball into something that won't be let go. For example, while getting boxes of old kids clothes ready to go to Goodwill the husband lamented the missing piece of a sentimental outfit he wanted to keep. I don't begrudge him this, but the finding of it was proving impossible in our endless labyrinth of stuff and he wasn't letting go so neither could I. This brought me to a level of frustration I am not comfortable with and I decided to head to the nearby grocery store with a postal counter to mail an International package. This proved to be a fatal mistake for my sanity as I was informed that they no longer accept handwritten customs forms anywhere but the main post office. Now alone that little bomb would have annoyed me, with the clothes fiasco and the construction around the grocery store that sent me on a longer than desired trip in the first place, it was one step before getting into the fetal position and crying. If someone would have looked at me cross eyed I would have lost it right there.

Admittedly not the best way to start the husbands vacation week. A little lunch and then finally getting those boxes out of the house improved my mood, but not in time to get anything interesting done. I did finish remaking the mask that was in queue, but I didn't get back to the new pieces at all. I'm going to try to get to those today so I can feel like I accomplished some work this week before we're off to the coast tomorrow. Speaking of that, in an effort to get some extra money for the trip since sales have been anemic lately I offered up the code VACATION for 20% off anything in my etsy shop yesterday and today only. No one has bitten yet, but it was worth a shot. As it is, it's going to have to be a very frugal trip which is difficult with the costs there. Just going out there is a load off though and totally worth it for the temperature alone. It's at least 40º cooler out there.

I'll still be writing when we're over there since phone apps and free hotel wi-fi are awesome things and even though the cats won't be there to wake me up, I simply can longer sleep in. I've been trained too well. So, here's to having a better day, many sales and finally taking a load off.

Monday, July 9, 2012

We Have Winners

I can't believe it's already Monday and I know that this week is going to fly by as well. Why? Because it's vacation week for the husband which means I will oscillate between trying to get too many things done and trying to "relax" and doing neither as well as I like. You don't care much about that though do you? I have giveaway winners to announce this morning.

The random number generator has chosen a few names for us though there were a couple who might have won had their entries or profiles contained an easy way to contact them. I'm just saying you've got to make sure one can find your info if you want free stuff. The three winners are Fox, Jillian Rueter, and Simeon Huff. I'll be contacting everyone for their mailing addresses in just a few minutes and three pieces will be heading to new homes. I think I might be donating the ones that didn't make it into the giveaway. To whom, I don't know yet, but I'm certain to find someone who can use it for charity fundraising.

Aside from the giveaway I did get some work done on the new slave bracelet and ankle corset/barefoot sandal. This is the bracelet version I think I'm going to go with. I need to do it over again with a longer ring loop though as it's tight even on my tiny hands. Of course this has a completely different look than the first version, but that one is how the foot version will look...basically. I did do all the complicated mapping to make the pieces in one pass this time. I even worked out how to crochet the finger loop within the tatting. It's a little odd to crochet with the tatting needle still in play, but it makes for a nice sturdy piece all with one continuous thread,

I don't have any pictures of the foot piece, but I've got one made up. It's got the addition of metal chains on the sides. That will make more sense when you see them. Today I've got a mask to finish remaking for the shop and then I'll use any spare time I'm afforded this week to get these pieces up to selling quality and then hopefully get them listed. I have have changed my mind about the week. It might be a long one.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Not Quite It

Finally, it's Friday. That whole holiday in the middle of the week thing really messed with my sense of time and since next week is vacation, it won't be much better I'm afraid, but enough about all that, I have things to share. If you haven't yet done so, please go to yesterday's giveaway post and leave a comment to enter! As of this moment we still need about six entrants to add a third prize. I've got six pieces I can giveaway should I get enough people to enter. Please do also read the rules so you make sure your entry counts as well.

I had a pendant to remake yesterday morning and it inspired me to try out a new slave bracelet design. What you might not know about my designing process is that it is mostly in my head. I play with existing bits of lace, make up configurations in my head and then start working. More than 9 times out of 10 what I wanted to make is what comes out. This one was one of the other ones. I'm just not happy with the way it sits at all. It's really frustrating for me to have spent all that time on something and know damn well that I'm not going to use it. This one was particularly annoying because I made all the rings first and then tatted around them all so I have to make tons more little rings before I can begin again or I have to work out the directionality so I can do it in one pass with the rings which is kind of making my head hurt right now.

The good news is the design as it is now with a few added details makes a really neat barefoot sandal/ankle corset design. So over the weekend I'll try out another configuration for the bracelet that will likely see the space between the hand bit and the wrist bit disappear and become a solid piece. Then I will work on making it into the foot piece. Hopefully come Monday I'll have both pieces worked out and I can feel satisfied that I designed something new and functional. Right now I'm just annoyed with myself for failing in the first place.

One last giveaway reminder before I go. I'll pull winners by random number generator early Monday morning so you all have until then to throw your hats into the rings and get your friends to do the same. Also don't forget that any purchases made in my etsy shop until that time that mention the giveaway at checkout will receive a free tatted surprise with their order as well, but everything ends on Monday.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

One Of A Kind Giveaway

Well I did nothing interesting yesterday, at least tatting wise. The family time was lovely though. Swimming, food, fireworks, cursing at the no fewer than three huge groups of college kids in the neighborhood surrounding us in a cocoon of bad decisions and fire. I said there might be a giveaway today and there shall be one.

I have an increasing number of one of a kind pieces that I have been letting expire from my etsy shop, so the deal is this: The more people who enter the more pieces I give away. After the first 25 people(not entries) I add a new prize, after the next 25 a new prize and that will keep going until Monday morning when I pull the winners with a maximum of six prizes.

What are the prizes? Let's see...I think we'll start with the earrings:

 After that it will be this necklace:
Edited to add: The third prize, this bracelet has been unlocked!

I will edit this post to add pictures of the other pieces which include a bracelet and a few more necklaces as they are unlocked.

Oh, right, how to enter. Just leave a comment here for one entry. You can get additional entries by following me on twitter, liking my facebook page and if you already do those things you can get an additional entry for posting about the giveaway either place. Please leave all your entries in one comment so they're easier for me to count and make certain I can contact you. If there is no easily found email on your blogger account, leave a twitter handle, etsy name or email in your comment. If you don't, you can't win. Remember the prize count is contingent on the number of people who enter, not the number of entries. The giveaway is open to everyone and the winners will be posted in Monday mornings blog post so you have the weekend to enter.

Also anyone who enters and then makes a purchase from my etsy shop during the giveaway time period will be treated to a free gift with their order. Just mention the giveaway at checkout.

Good luck and get lots of people over here to enter!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sorry For The Dull

I lied to you again. I said that I wouldn't clean anymore because I liked breathing, but as soon as I finished the necklace that needed remaking, that's exactly what I did. This time I did remember to put on a dust mask before cleaning though. It wasn't 100% effective but it definitely allowed me to clean longer. No, I'm not certain that was a good thing.

First I cleaned up my nest. That's the named given to my spot on the couch and the adjacent coffee table. It's where I do all my tatting and the closest thing to a studio I have. That is why you will never see 'studio' pictures from me. Sure, I have a computer desk as well, but I use that for storage, shipping and blogging, everything else happens in he nest. Once that was clean it was back to the closet cleaning I had begun the day before. I think that I'm done with that save for going through my drawers and getting rid of useless stuff from there. I realize that this is a ridiculously mundane and boring post and since today will be mostly family time I won't have anything better to share then either. I thought about doing a giveaway today, but then it struck me that most people would be away from their computers today, maybe tomorrow.

I did order a couple of vintage tatting books I ran across yesterday, so here's hoping they bring me lots of new ideas when they arrive, but that won't be for days yet. So,  here's wishing all my state side friends a safe 4th and I suppose everyone else should just have a nice Wednesday and I'll try to accomplish something of note today so tomorrow doesn't bore as well.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Little Better

Oh, how blissful is busy. The day started pretty dull. I had woken up with an injured toe. How I injured my toe in my sleep is still a mystery, but it happened and I didn't think going on a morning walk was wise so I cleaned and sorted the kids clothes. This was a a task I regretted from the minute I started it as the dust was killing me, but I finished it anyway. After that I got back to tatting and spent most of the day working on remaking a collar necklace. Then late in the afternoon I got a series of inquires about a small, rushed custom order. To my delight the order went through giving me a task that needed immediate doing.

Just after I finished that one and had it ready to ship, I got another small order giving me something that will need to be remade today. I almost started on it last night, but it's better to give myself something that needs doing the next day. I'm crossing my fingers that this indicates an upswing in business as next week is our family vacation and I'd like a little extra money to, you know, eat with and whatnot. It's times like this that I wish I were a better business person, but at the end of the day I'm just this lady that makes stuff and posts it on the internet like so many others. Even after all these years I can't get into all the crazy advertising and SEO nonsense. All I can do is keep making stuff and continue being all chatty online and hope that people see that and like it.

So today I have just one necklace to make in queue and then I suppose I'll get back to remaking because I'm certain I don't want to clean anymore today. I need a break so I can breath for a while. I'm just going to hold out for some inspiration, a great project or order and hope the Universe provides.

Monday, July 2, 2012

So Much White

Well, how about that. I did everything over the weekend that I said I would. When does that ever happen? I mean, weekdays I can get pretty predictable, but the weekends are usually no man's land. On Friday I put together a back drop necklace in white. It's no different than the black one, but man is taking pictures of white pieces a pain in the neck. They don't contrast well on my skin, I have no proper clothing to show it off so I have to improvise and tweaking the settings to show the piece better makes my skin start to look like one of those special sun damage pictures which is not terribly attractive. I even ended up doing a couple of the pictures in black and white to alleviate some of the issues.

Then after all the white picture drama, what did I do? Work on something else white of course, because I'm a sadist. I got the white ribbon I had ordered in and spent much of Saturday asking for opinions on the ribbon placement. I used this photo and asked which looked better. The results were plenty, but pretty split and I was getting nowhere until some reasons started to accompany the opinions. Under wins handily at that point. Tacking the lace to the ribbon adds stability so the lace won't be stretched out over the course of the day. It also allows for different color ribbons to act as a pop of color if one is desired. Before I listed it, I sourced ribbon and found a place with an incredible color selection in uniform sizes. I didn't realize it when I ordered this ribbon, but it is an odd size and I can't find any more it's same width.

Once that decision was made I struggled with photos of the sash and got it listed too. I had some black ribbon on hand to demonstrate the color contrasting, but had to list the other colors as custom. It seems like that's pretty standard for most bridal pieces, so it shouldn't be a big deal. Of course I'm under no illusions that this is going to fly off the shelves. I was challenged to make one and I did. I am fairly satisfied with the final piece so the task is complete.

So what then for today? Well, I managed one good sale over the weekend breaking a six day no sales streak that came back the next day, but I digress. I have one collar necklace that needs remaking so I can list it again and that should take up most of the day for me. I can tell you that I have no plans to work in white again for quite some time unless brides start breaking down my door.