Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mask On A Stick

It worked. That's right, I did not destroy the mask, not at all. The mask was just flexible enough for me to further shape it yesterday morning. I get the impression that if I had dipped the tatting into the fa-brick stuff, as is one suggestion on the bottle, that it would have been rock hard. I painted it on either side using a dabbing motion to really get it into the lace. I am quite pleased with the results. There was no discoloration of the lace once it was dry and it gave it a nice shine without taking away the texture and as a bonus when I placed it on my face, it wasn't scratchy at all. This means I can stiffen a mask meant to be worn on the face with it should I need to. I do still prefer my lace soft though.

I also got photos of it and got it listed yesterday. The only hitch was figuring out the shipping cost. It is barely heavier than my other pieces, but that stick is kind of a game changer. Not to mention the shape of the mask requires that I not put it in an envelope. I admit I got a bit frustrated with trying to work out the international shipping costs so I left them off the listing entirely. I made a note at the end of the listing that I would ship anywhere, I would just offer a quote to prospective out of country buyers. That way I can be more specific and won't accidentally undercharge. These are the times I wish I wasn't every department of my micro business, but that's was way it is.

I did begin work on a second mask with this pattern with the intention of lightly stiffening it to be worn on the face. However,  I also discovered with the stiffened mask that it would be easier to wear it over glasses that way. So it may get fully stiffened after all. I'll get that finished today and figure it out when it's done I suppose. The shop has been as quiet as a ghost for days now...again, so I don't have any other tasks on tap. I might still play with that hat I was writing about yesterday. Yeah, I still don't know, but the mask on a stick is done and I'm at least happy with that.

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Mask!

Good Monday morning world or the small segment of it that reads this. I really tried to have a pointless weekend, but I needed to do something new. To that end I first tried something only slightly new on Friday. I added crystals to the extra wide ring design, mostly to see how it would feel and work. It gave me something to do and talk about online for a spell and I think that's what I really needed, you know, some point to babbling online. It did turn out comfortable by the way. The crystals sit on the outside of the lace so it's really no different to wear than the other version on the wide ring.

After doing our normal Saturday errands and an extra walk around the creek I had a bit of an epiphany regarding the potential mask on a stick. Since it will be on a stick and doesn't have to sit perfectly on a face, I have more leeway with design. So I started with a completely new eye shape and then started working on a new design. I know I've said that I generally make up designs as I tat, but usually I at least have an idea of where I'm going with it before I start up. This was completely off the cuff the entire time. With the new eye shape I had no idea where to begin or what I wanted. I just started, made it up as I went, unmade it a few times around the first eye and then attempted to recreate the same thing on the second side. The center was another drama as I still needed to get a bridge wire in there, but I didn't plan for one in advance. So, I guess what I'm saying is I'm truly shocked that this seemed to have worked out.

Next up was the truly frightening task of stiffening the mask so I can put the sucker on an stick. Those details still have yet to be fully worked out either, but I did know that I wanted the mask stiff first so that what I started on last night. I used the 'Amazing fa-brick' and painted it on straight while the mask was shaped on a cheap plastic mask base. This stuff dries to the touch pretty fast except that I did both sides so by bedtime it was still sticky. I still wasn't certain that I wasn't really just destroying the mask, but nothing ventured nothing gained. It seems okay this morning upon a cursory examination, but later I'll really get to play with and see if it was a success and what else needs to be done to finish the piece. Once that's done I may make this design up again as a wearable mask because I'm kind of in love with the shape. Don't worry, you'll get all the details on the success or failure of the stiffening as soon as I've formed an opinion.

So the mask is the plan for today though I also ran across my tatted hat yesterday. It was the first project I shared on this blog and it never sold, so I'm thinking about getting new pictures and listing it again or if the stiffening works, maybe turning it into a sculpted bowl, maybe paint it or something crazy and artistic...who knows. The hat is shown here and I'd love your opinion on the subject if you have the time. Alright, off to it then.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Congrats Kid

It's not hard to guess that today brings another 'nothing' sort of post. But I will start with a little congratulations of my first offspring. This is my oldest. Here you see her in her element after schooling with a cat on her lap and a nintendo ds in her hands. What you don't see in this picture is how flippin' happy she was for most of the day after she passed her tests. She has officially been approved to begin third grade work in math, science and history. This has got to be one of the best parts of the home school experience. She doesn't have to skip a whole grade to move forward, she just does the work at her own pace, getting all the knowledge and keeps moving when she's ready. I'm very proud of her.

What did I do with the rest of the day? Well, I decided that as long as I was remaking things and in production mode that I would get one of the masks listed as a custom order made and bump it back to the ready to ship list. That was about as much as I got done for the day though. I did think some more on the idea of the stiffened stick mask. I'm trying to decided whether I should use an existing design or design something entirely new to take advantage of the stiffening and the fact that it won't need to sit as perfectly on the face. Obviously the lazy part of me, and it's a big part, is leaning toward using something existing. The creative part of me really likes the new idea, but it is still half asleep. So the question becomes, when will creative me wake up and can I wait that long to try the idea out?

So today I vow to at least run the black thread stiffener test in anticipation of trying this mask business out at some point. The rest of the weekend, who knows?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nope, I Got Nothing

Goodness, I have even less to share today than yesterday. Early in the morning I got an order for a custom colored ring, so I worked on that, then I got back to the gauntlet that I needed to finish remaking. When it was done I was truly fortunate to get an order for a necklace and I spent the rest of the day remaking that one. So, I suppose I was pretty busy all day, but with nothing of any real interest worth sharing and unfortunately I start today with no tatting projects on tap either.

I do have some schooling business to attend to though. The child has been going through some of her lessons so quickly that she has an online meeting with her teacher today to see if she's learned enough of her science and history to start the next grades curriculum. She already has the next grades math on the way. What's silly is I'm a little nervous for her to take a test with the teacher even though I know she's absorbed most if not all the information given to her. Oh, well...she'll be fine.

So that's pretty much all I have for you today. Again, I shall hope for something interesting to happen to keep me busy and engaged. I'll also try to remember to take a picture of something to brighten up the post tomorrow. All this pointless text is super boring. At least with a kitten picture you could have distracted yourself from the fact that I just wasted five minutes of your live. Forgive me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On Tumblr

After a bit of comment consulting I dove headlong into the tumblr world. I decided if I was going to do this, I was going to figure out how to make it look like I wanted it to. After much searching and trial and error I sussed out several details and got it to work like I wanted. As I shared my struggles on twitter, I got my first followers and after I followed a few people back I began to understand. I think it shall be a meeting of my worlds. I shall post tatting, listings, twitter things and wunderkammer posts. I'll use it for other things I run across that before had no proper place to be shared. So basically it's not nearly as time consuming as twitter, but closer to that than this. If you're interested my tumblr is here. I also added a link button in the sidebar too.

Let's see what else? Well, after I was satisfied with the tumblr project, I decided to buckle down and get some stuff remade that I've been ignoring for some time. I got one pair of barefoot sandals remade and began work on one of my gauntlet type bracelets. That one has only begun and shall be today's project as well. I also played with camera apps too...can you tell?  I've been very fickle with my time lately, taking breaks at odd times to do odd things, but it's left me less stressed than usual so I'm not going to break the bad habit quite yet. I'm going to revel in the oddness.

I don't have anything else on the agenda for today, but remaking. I need to feel a little more inspired or motivated before I get back to the sculpture project or the mask on the stick project. The slowness of sales lately has begun to rob me of my sense of urgency with projects. Usually I rush not only because I need to, but also because that sense invigorates me to. Now, I feel a bit like the tortoise, I'll get there, when I get there. Don't worry...I'm still moving.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let The Rambling Begin

Ah, glorious sleep...I believe that I find myself fairly well rested this morning. Of course that does not fix the fact that I have very little to share with you today. Yesterday I schooled the child in the morning, did some laundry, attacked the ants who were using the rain as an excuse to invade...more than usual and I remade the burgundy trailing scrolls necklace. Honestly, I could stop the blog post there and I wouldn't be leaving much out at all, but given my proclivity for rambling, you know I'm not going to do that.

Last week I inherited a large bag of embroidery, cross stitch and crewel kits from a friend of my in-laws. It was assumed that creative Pam would want them. I hadn't embroidered anything but my own tatting since I was child, so I pulled one out and began to reteach myself the stitches. This is what I've been occupying my time with as of late. The kits aren't anything I would have bought myself, far too, umm girly or traditional I guess, but it is something different. I have been designing new pieces all month at what is an unsustainable pace and I needed something to distract me from the compulsion to continue.

Speaking on new compulsions, I often tell the story of how I started a blog because everyone in the etsy forums told me I needed one. It was the same for joining twitter and flickr and I haven't been able to avoid many of those sort of sites. Call it peer pressure or the fear that 'this' is the place I will need to be to establish my online presence and if I'm not there too...Oh Noooo! Yes, I'm being melodramatic, but after reading that Marliee fell down the Tumblr rabbit hole too, I started thinking about that place again. So I joined too. Yeah, I know, I know...I need another online site to maintain like I need a hole in my head, but done is done. When I told the husband what I'd done he asked why. My response,  "So that I have one just in case and so no one else can take my name". "So you're cyber squatting?" he replied. "Well, yes a little bit, but I'll post stuff too."

I'm quite frustrated with the layout as I want mine pretty like other ones I've seen, but I have no html skills to fancy it up. I want pretty graphic links and a lovely header, but I am lacking. I suppose it matters very little as I still have no idea what I will do there. Wow, see how much rambling I managed to get done with nothing of quality to say. It's a skill, a relatively useless skill, but I'll take what I've been given. Hopefully something interesting will happen today as I've nothing planned at this moment. Cross your fingers.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I'm running on a bit less sleep than usual so forgive me if I ramble a bit more than usual. We've had some rainy weather the last few days and it seems to really kick up at night with added wind waking me from my slumber. I try to get back to sleep, but the chorus of frogs that are apparently happily living in our backyard add to the ruckus and I'm left lying in bed listening and not sleeping. Today is suppose to be the last day of it for a while, so hopefully this will be the last you hear me whine of it.

So, what did I do over the weekend, well my weekend projects started on Friday. I sent off a tatted ring to a customer and as I remade said ring I was struck that it might look neat were I to double up the design into an extra wide ring...so I did. Then as I worked I decided that I liked the bit where the rings nested into each other and thought a narrow ring with that design might be nice. When those were finally photographed and listed it was suggested to me that adding crystals might be lovely, so I did that too in burgundy.

After these I even tried out the double wide ring a different way, with two woven sections and the rings on the outside.  It's a little more delicate so I'm not sure I'll list that one or not. Speaking of delicate, when I posted these on facebook someone commented regarding the stability of tatted rings. So I thought I post some lessons I've learned about them. First, the tighter the twist on the thread the better. While softer thread is great for some wearables, I find the firmer thread is necessary for rings to work. I also don't use my usual size 10 thread, I think 20 is the perfect balance of strength and delicate here. The denser the design the sturdier too, the woven and nested bits really help these hold their shape over time. I know there was another tip or two, but the sleep deprivation is interfering.

So, what's up for today. Yeah, I don't know yet. I finally sold my first trailing scrolls necklace, the burgundy one, and since I have more of the bits I used for that one, I may remake it today. Other than  that and schooling  I've no agenda. Of course all these rings were never on the agenda and they all got made, so I think we all know I never know what direction the day is going. Here's to a creative, productive and successful week for all of us.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rope Chain and Stalling

I'm still definitely a little on the listless side and I can't seem to really focus on getting done what needs to get done. You'd think it was Spring or something, though a quick walk outside would swiftly change that opinion. What I did get done was two of the pieces on the list I mentioned yesterday and then I finally sold something I could remake again so I did that as well. I felt as if I was almost productive, but not quite.

I never did get round to trying a black swatch if lace with the stiffener, but I did play with the rope chain idea a little bit. The bit on the left there was before it really started to twist on it's on. Since it's not metal I had to give it a turn myself at this point to see if it even would. As I got a little further along the twist took care of itself. It's certainly an interesting look. I did this bit with yarn actually, a silk, bamboo, wool blend that is quite soft. I just wanted to try it big and see what it would do. I get the feeling that this is the sort of project I'll work on when I've not much else to do. I figure I'll make it as long as I have yarn or until I get really sick of it. That, of course, might take so long that I'll never sell it due to the potential price tag I'd attach.

Let's see, what else did I accomplish yesterday? Oh yeah, nothing. I did get another lovely idea from a blog comment that might one day come to fruition. A fully stiffened mask on a stick. I've made a mask on a stick before and it was hell getting it to stand up on it's stick. There was lots of wire and holes drilled in the stick to attach it, but if the lace were solid, well that would be much easier. Honestly I much prefer lace in it's natural state and would never make a mask made to be worn on the face stiff. The scratching would be awful. I do however have loads of customers who wear glasses and I have been asked several times for a mask suitable to be worn with them. I'm sure a mask on a stick is not what they were hoping for, but it might be the first solution that actually works. So I guess what I'm saying is be on the lookout for one of those sometime in the future. Oh and the pictures of the cat on my lap...that's a 'just because' bonus for today. See you all on Monday.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Well That Worked

Oh, I was a listless soul yesterday. I somehow managed to avoid doing anything of substance at all. I sat down and made a list of all the pieces that I have yet to remake for the shop. What did I do with the list? Nothing. I got a blog comment about making a rope chain using the same basic technique as my last piece. I thought, interesting idea, let me look up how to do that. While I managed to learn the chainmaille technique involved, I only made it to two rings before I flitted off to do some more nothing.

In fact the only thing of interest that I accomplished yesterday was to finally undergo the first fabric stiffening experiment. I grabbed a piece of lace from my scrap box. Don't ask how full that thing is...it's crazy, and I plastered it with this fa-brick stuff. I just wrapped it around the top of a wine bottle to get a sense of it's shaping capabilities and waited. I didn't have to wait too long though, it dried incredibly fast and pretty darn hard. I have to say I'm impressed.

It did leave some bits that would need to be picked off and there is definitely some discoloration on this particular thread. Though to be honest it was made with some low quality stuff. I think I might give it some black today since that's what I'm likely to make any final sculpture with. If it passes that test I guess I have no more excuses and I'll have to get to designing my first tatted sculpture. I don't even know what I want to start with, probably something simple at first.

So today, I hope to stop lollygagging around and get back to some semblance of work. I'll do that stiffening experiment and I promise that I will remake something on that damn list I made. Then I might get to thinking about this sculpture nonsense. Alright, off to it then and you all  have a lovely day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So Many Chains

I think I did it again. You know, went overboard making a piece that I really like, but I might be the only one. I do this often especially if the piece is easy to make. I'll whip up a bunch in different colors and they'll just sit in the shop, relatively unloved and definitely unsold. The last time was when I made a bunch of bracelets in comic book character colors. I made like seven of them and I still haven't sold one. It also looks like seven is my number too because I made seven of these pieces as well. Though at least this time it's necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I know it's really way too early for me to start all this negativity, but when I listed them all yesterday, they weren't praised. I know, I know, it's ridiculous for me to expect people to fawn over everything I make, but if you've been around a while you know I have an ego that likes to be fed. Luckily, I am bigger than that ego and I still like the pieces...though I have promised myself that I will make no more of them until they start selling or they are requested.
I had another of those weird, 'something's off' days again too. I don't know if it's the weather, the impending tax season or some mysterious entity that's got me all weird, but I think that was a contributing factor in the sentiment I just wrote. I must, however, keep moving on even if I have no clue where I'm going today. There are still pieces that need remaking that I haven't gotten to yet, so that's likely what I'll get up to today. I am really fiending to make more chains, but at this point I've accepted that that is counterproductive, so remaking it is. I'm hoping today is one of those pleasant surprises sort of days...yeah, that would be nice.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rings Into Chains

Have you ever had one of those days where something was just...off? I still have no idea what that thing was that shadowed my day, but it kept me from getting all my tasks for the day done. I was nervous for no real reason, like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. That's not to say I wasn't busy, I was just horribly distracted. So first I got the giveaway necklaces made and ready to ship away to the winners. The first winner asked for a navy blue and it's accented with light blue swarovski crystals and as is my way, a mystery bead at the center.

I think it turned out to be an amazing combination and it is of course a one of a kind creation. I think that makes it an extra special prize. The other was the same black necklace pictured in the giveaway post except that I went and added the third ring to the center like the embellished versions. In fact the black one I have listed will be the only one I sell without that third ring since I like it much better this way.

The rest of the day was spent getting some of the new pieces put together. That shadow that haunted my day kept me from getting around to listing pictures though. I did manage to snap a few pictures of the pieces since I had the camera out for the prize necklace. The three on the bottom are all necklaces and the black one on top is a bracelet. I also have some earrings I'm working on as well. I still haven't decided whether I should list all the colors separately or as one, 'pick you color' listing. There are advantages to either way, but which will work best for me is still a mystery.

So today the plan is to get them listed one way or another. We're back to regular schooling now as well, so I have a bit less time for tatting, but you know I always manage to fit it in. I'd like to do a whole bunch more of these on other shades, but I'm probably getting ahead of myself. I haven't gotten much feedback yet on them, so it could be a much worse idea than I think. Well, at least I still have ideas flowing forth, so that's a plus anyway.

Monday, January 16, 2012

And The Winner Is...

Happy 1,001st blog post everyone. Now normally I'd regale you with tales of my weekend. What I did, mostly clean, what I created, a new minimalist design, but not today, my friends, not today. Instead I shall first thank you all for the many entries and the kind words contained within many of them. One of you may win an actual prize when I do a giveaway, but the ego boost it gives me is almost as good.

Before I make my announcement, you may remember that I said I might have more than one winner if the response was overwhelming. I know that was kind of a vague parameter, but it was one of those, I'll know it when it happens sort of things. I think 70 entries qualifies, so I picked a second winner that will receive a plain trailing scrolls necklace in black. That winner is

The grand prize, as it were, an embellished trailing scroll necklace in the winners color choices, as chosen by random number generator is: 

If you see your name here, you can expect an email from me today asking for your particulars and I will get to work on them as soon as I have all the info I need to make them. 

Again, thanks all for reading my ramblings and apparently appreciating them. Sometimes, when the comments are few, I forget how many people are actually out there and think that I must be, once again, talking to myself. It's always nice when the lurkers stop by to say hello and remind me that there are a few folks out there listening to me shouting on my street corner. 

Now that the giveaway has been wrapped, I do actually have a new design I'm working on. It's beyond simple and inspired by a necklace I saw on the front page of etsy a while ago. You all know how much I like trying to replicate other forms of jewelry with tatting and I'm actually surprised I haven't done this yet. I know, all you see here is a small segment of what appears to be chain made of tatted rings, but there's more to it...just not much more. I had already tackled the chainmaille, which seems a little like skipping a step now that I think on it. I wanted to make something less expensive, but that still made a bit of an impact, so there will be a few different pieces using this technique, a new line if you will and something should be listed today or tomorrow as I fear there may be more cleaning in my future today.

Friday, January 13, 2012

1000th Post Giveaway

Happy One Thousand all! Before I get to the giveaway details I just wanted to take a short stroll down memory lane. I started the blog way back in 2008 because...well, because the folks in the etsy forums told me to. The implication was that doing so would help send traffic to my shop and I complied. I also spent a lot of time plugging my blog posts and generally pestering people to pay attention to me. It worked for a time, but man was it bothersome and exhausting. There was a point where I thought I should just let it go and move on, but then something weird happened, other tatters found me. Then it became less about self promotion and more about connecting and self expression. Here is the place I lay my thoughts, complain, celebrate and create. You're sure not shutting me up now.

Now for the giveaway part. I though long and hard about what to offer and decided to offer you your very own one of a kind Trailing Scrolls necklace like one of those pictured above, but made just for you. So how do you get in on this action? I need you to leave a comment here on this post sometime before Monday morning. That comment needs to tell me what shade you would want your necklace in should you win and you must make sure I have a way to contact you, email, twitter or etsy account. If I have to search for you, I'll just pick someone else.

The winner or maybe winners if I get an overwhelming response, will get to choose a thread color from those I have on hand, they're all listed on my policy page at etsy. They will get to decide whether they want the necklace plain, like the black one above or embellished like the others and I will choose from my on hand stash of bits to make a one of a kind piece. Once the piece is done, it will be displayed here for all to see before being shipped to the winner. Sound good? Well then, get your comment in quickly. The winner or winners will be chosen by random number drawing just before I post Monday morning, which given my usual posting time probably means you really only have until late Sunday night.

Thanks for 1000 posts and here's to many thousand more...what, does that scare you?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hands And Feet

First off, thanks for all the comments yesterday though you didn't really help narrow down the giveaway item much. That's okay though I think I have a fine idea you'll like for it regardless. The giveaway won't be up until tomorrow and you will only have until I post Monday morning to enter...you have been warned.

Yesterday after schooling I got the new slave bracelet all listed. Sometimes pricing these pieces gets difficult though. This one for example is far more complex in design and execution than a similarly sized one, but I'd doubt the difference would be terribly apparent to the average person, so do I charge what it's complexity demands or do I take a small hit on price to keep in line with perceived value. Well, in the end I decided that since I actually enjoy making the design unlike some others that I'm burned out on, so I'll take the hit...at least for now.

At this point I started back on the barefoot sandals and I have to say that I really like the way these ones turned out. I tried them on with heels as well and they look pretty neat that way too. Of course the only downside to making another foot accessory is that my flickr account will soon be deluged with foot fetishist attention. It's not too bad though, only a few of them are really creepy and I really do like making them.

Let's see, what else? Well, I finally got a sale around bedtime last night. I don't mind telling you it was quite a relief. Even when I do everything right, my income is still reliant on other peoples shopping whims and worse their budgets. And that's assuming that I ever to everything right. I mostly just make stuff I like, list it and remain chatty online, but I digress. I think I'm done with new pieces from the scroll design. I will definitely be making more of them in different color variations, but I think I'm done with the line as it were. I got halfway through a brown one yesterday that I should get finished and up today and then I get to remake the sale items from last night which should use up the day.

Oh, and do remember to pop by tomorrow or over the weekend to get entered in the giveaway.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More Scrolls

So the new choker got listed yesterday right after schooling which did go much smoother on day two. I suppose it just takes her a bit to get back into the swing of things. The choker was not nearly as well received as the necklaces that preceded it. Add that to the complete lack of sales lately and I was pretty bummed after that. Though honestly I'm not 100% in love with some of my choices on the pieces either. It will probably end up being a one off with the next version slightly different particularly at the top edge.

Once I finished sulking I had other ideas though and I got to work on a bracelet idea for the design. It too took a little extra work to make happen. I mostly used the choker as a base, but the center scrolling had to be longer and I added the same motif I used on the sides of the choker to the center top. I wasn't sure until the very end whether it was going to be a slave bracelet or not, but if definitely looks better like that. The sun was already nearly gone by the time I finished this one, so it's still waiting for it's shop debut.

As one piece seems to inspire another, so did the slave bracelet get tried on my foot to see if it could become a barefoot sandal. Guess what? It can. Again there were some adjustments to be made to the design, but honestly the fewest between pieces. The main body was already large enough and I mostly had to shorten the bracelets length and add the crochet chain ties. I only got one done yesterday and it was really late by this point. Mind you my really late is much earlier than yours likely is, but still it was the last thing I did for the day. All the new stuff still needs to be pressed and worn around a bit to make sure it's all battle ready, but I should be able to finish the other sandal and get both those and the bracelet listed today.

Last bit for today is an announcement and a question. Friday will be my 1000th blog post here and after some goading yesterday my blog follower numbers just hit 500. Yes, I know that means I have babbled quite a lot in the last few years. The point is I'd like to do something to mark the occasion and a giveaway usually does the trick. So now for the question: What would you like to win? Be honest now, what would make you take the time to leave a comment to enter? I will seriously consider all suggestions and the giveaway will go up on Friday with a winner pulled on Monday.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Ugh, what a day. I mean I know it was a Monday, but it was much more of a "Monday" than I was prepared to deal with. First there was schooling the child, we were back to a full schedule and even though I'd eased back into it, there was still much resistance. After that I tried to get back to work on the choker. I still had some bits to work on on the prototype before I started the actual piece and I just kept getting distracted with one task or another. It's wasn't until the afternoon that I started work on the final piece.

Then while working on the piece I had one of those oops moments where I had to cut out a large section and start over. By the time I actually finished it there was little sun, so like I thought, I wasn't able to get photographs for listing purposes. I know I sound annoyed, but that's not even the tatting's fault. I'm annoyed because my iTunes account was hijacked and my credits drained from it. I sent a message to Apple and then I go searching the Internet for the source of my woes where I discover this is a widespread issue, like thousands of people widespread. At the is point I'm still annoyed, but I no longer feel singled out. Then I get my message returned and my account is suppose to be credited back within 24 hours, but my Apple ID is now disabled and after requesting it be enabled I am still waiting this morning for them to do so.

That whole mess stopped all my creativity yesterday. Hopefully it resolves itself quickly and I can move on today and be less annoyed so I can create something. It would be a shame if Monday ruined the whole week. I still have yet to do the stiffening experiment I need to do and I need to get this choker listed. I'm not sure where I'm headed next with the scroll designs, but I don't feel like I'm finished with them yet either. Well here's to a better day.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Ah, back to Monday again. The weekend wasn't nearly productive as the week it followed, but Friday was a pretty busy day. I got the the new green necklace listed. Thanks to everyone who informed me that the stone was a malachite. It was something I should have known, but the name had eluded me. Both embellished versions of this piece have been well received and after a couple more projects I have in mind, I'll likely try a few more colored versions.

I also sat down with the idea to expand on the design and work it into more of a choker. I started work on that, but got distracted by another idea which immediately turned into a pair of earrings. I generally abandon large project for small ones when I need a little sense of instant gratification. I mean, it's going to take days for the choker to go from prototype to finished project. The earrings on the other hand, maybe two hours and I can list them faster too since my ear model needs no prepping.

I did get back to the choker over the weekend and though there's still a lot more work to be down on the design, I have the bare bones worked out so I might just get it finished today though probably not all the way to listed as there is a small window of opportunity for good, well lighted photos during the winter.

I have just one last little bit to share with you this morning. My brother-in-law writes on occasion for a local magazine. He recently bombarded me with questions for a cloth craft article he was writing and the results of that are up on the magazine's blog now, TheDLM. It might be in the print version as well, but I haven't been downtown yet to pick up a copy. It's a bit weird to me to get any local attention though. No matter how much I plaster my own tatting wearing head about the internet, I just assume no one I know will ever run across that unless I direct them. Yeah, it's just a bit weird, but anyway today I finish the choker and If I'm feeling ambitious there may be some stiffened lace experiments round here. We'll just have to wait and see what the day brings.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The First Friday

I guess I'm on a bit of a roll over here. When I listed the new burgundy and garnet necklace  I was quite encouraged by the reaction to it. I posted it on facebook and there were many compliments it garnered quite a few hearts on etsy as well. I'm also enjoying the way my pictures turned out. I've been playing with using a black background and I think it really makes the images pop. Of course with the black proper lighting is the key and when I used it for my last mask and the tikka, there was no light so they were a bit of a blurred mess. Of course I just decided that I was going for that look and went with it, but well lighted is much better.

After I posted this one, I suggested that I might do a few more in this embellished style, in black and green maybe. All it took was one person saying that they can't wait to see the green one to get me to make that first. For this one I used mountain jade beads and I have no idea what large stone is in the center as it was part of a grab bag mix, but it matches perfectly. I did finish it, but that light issue I shared earlier was in full effect when I did, so good pictures and listing will have to wait until today.

The mailman also brought me my silver hooks for use in the creation of tikkas, so I made a black and silver version. Again, I'm using bits from the grab bags so I think these will all be slightly different from each other. At some point I will probably try an entirely different pattern for them, but for now I'll stick with making it a line with different colors and embellishments.

So, what's on tap for today and the rest of the weekend? Yeah, I really don't know. I might go ahead and make a black embellished necklace or my fabric stiffener might finally arrive and I might have to start playing with that using my scraps of rejected tatting. I've also had the though to add to the trailing scrolls necklace design for an even more complex piece. I guess you'll just have to wait until Monday to see what direction I flew in.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Trailing Scrolls

In case you were wondering about my eye, it's fine now. Turns out it was basically a fur-ball Venus fly trapped into my eye. Once it was extricated, all returned to normal quite quickly. I apologize for over sharing, wait, no I don't. You all know how many cats I have, these things are just going to keep happening.

Anyway, yesterday turned out to be quite a busy day. I was granted a couple more sales so I had things to remake on top of the new ideas whirling around in my brain. First I got the new necklace design finished up, photographed and listed. Also I got a fun new photo collage app for my phone, so guess what my pictures are going to look like around here for awhile. Blame twitter, that's where I heard about it.

After this one was up and listed I dug out some garnet beads and burgundy thread for a one off version. The beads all look nice, but since they are lower quality natural stones the holes are not always perfect in them making stringing them onto the thread a pain in the neck. One will slide right on, the next will break the beading needle. I broke two getting all the beads strung. Lucky for me I do this enough that I bought a lot of the needles.

This one is still not quite finished as all that bead nonsense added quite some time to the creation of the piece. I should be able to finish it up this morning and get it listed as well. I also added another ring to the center of the design for this version to hep with the added weight of the beads. It always puzzles me when I see a heavily beaded tatted piece, or just one with heavy beads. I have no faith in the lace to hold those things and keep its shape long term. I suppose that's why I use beads sparingly.

So today the tasks include a little more schooling, finishing and listing the new piece and perhaps designing up another should time allow. It's actually been a rather productive week. I think I deserve a cookie...or a new pair of boots.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Huzzah to the giver! The first sale of the year has finally been recorded in the etsy shop and it brings with it a sense of relief. Every year things get incredibly busy for the holidays and then stop cold turkey sending me through withdrawals. After a few years you'd think the knowledge that this happens every year would temper my reaction to the event, but it hasn't yet. I go through a bit of a panic where I fear I've become suddenly invisible, but that's over for now. I know things will remain relatively slow, but now that my visibility has been confirmed I can deal with it...better anyway.

The spare time is something I can work with though. The newest mask and tikka are now listed in the shop though I fear my excessive makeup wearing for the photos has annoyed my eye, it's all red and irritated this morning. Once that was done I set into another of those, 'what's next?' funks. Then after I made that sale, I had an idea. The sale was of this necklace. It's been selling quite well lately which is kind of odd to me since it was one of my first original creations that I retired from the shop for quite some time before bringing it back this summer. But I digress, I decided to use my newest necklace design and morph it into a similar necklace.

This is just the prototype and it's different on each side as I tried to work out some design details. I figure I make up a plain version first and get that listed and then I'll go and do a second embellished version with some seed beads on the joining picots and perhaps something shiny hanging in the center portions like I did on the tikka. It finishes with a tatted chain too which means less work after I finish tatting. So, that's the plan for today and hopefully the inspiration with this design will keep coming and I can create a whole line with the basic construction. I already have a bracelet idea percolating, so that's a good start. I love it when the new year finally kicks in.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tatted Tikka

And it's all over. The husband returns to work today and though the child is technically on vacation for more than two more weeks, I'm putting her back to work today as well. Not full time or anything, but the routine must be reestablished before chaos becomes the new routine and I lose complete control. So, what did I work on yesterday? Well, I did a little cleaning and I took down Christmas early due to escalating cat related incidents. We usually leave it up until the 6th for Little Christmas, but I began to fear the worst so I erred on the side of caution, but I did also tat.

I know I am going to have to wait until I get in the last stiffener before I really start to work on that idea, so in the meantime I thought I'd tackle another of your ideas, a simpler one. I decided to have at the Indian hair jewelry that I've since learned is called tikka, or at least the pendant portion is. I'm still a little fuzzy on it, but it seems the pendant is suspended from a short chain that ends in a hook that is attached to the hair, either to a braid or bobby pinned in. This is the prototype pendant I tatted up based on the last necklace design I came up with.

Next up I dug though my findings feeling pretty confident I had a hook or two on hand to make the first one with. Well, I did, but they were gold toned. I figured the best way to utilize what I had on hand was to make the piece up in brass. I made the final piece up with brass bits and dark brown thread. I think that the basic design could work with different embellishment options as well. I could hand bits from the bottom as well as bead the outside edge. So if this one is well received, I'll try to source some silver hooks and get a few more versions made up. I'm also thinking I should treat the back of the lace so that spirit gum can be applied to it. I read that is often done to keep the pendant in place while belly dancing. Luckily I've already run across just the product for that purpose.

Hopefully I'll get this and my newest mask listed today after I get some photos. Of course that depends on the sun and my ability to remember how to get good photos. I's been quite some time since I had to do ones that featured my face so predominately. I was enjoying all the simple pieces that I didn't have to get dolled up to photograph. So, that will likely be the whole of the day, unless of course inspiration strikes or someone actually makes the first purchase of the year...I'm still waiting for that one.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Happy Monday 2012. So far, it's been a slow crawl to the New Year. The etsy shop got real quiet, real fast and with the husband home and the child off school, absolutely nothing is as normally scheduled and that means nothing much gets accomplished. We have one last quiet day around here before the husband returns to work and then I shall have to institute routine again or risk my sanity as the children rage against boredom. Speaking of raging against boredom, I got my order of roving in the mail from asherjasper on etsy. It is a box of painfully sharp joy. It came in on Saturday and the requests for small colorful items started coming in immediately from the children.

Here's a small pile of odds and ends I've managed to create. I'm definitely getting better. The felting process is time consuming and I really must work on my posture while I work it because my back is killing me, but it's fun. The husband remarked that I wouldn't be making any money from these creations should I decided to sell them. Worry not people, this one is just a pastime. Until I achieve the skill level to make skulls or dragons, you probably won't even see this stuff again. On a side note, I received a book for Christmas about crafting with cat fur. I know it was mostly a joke and the book recommends a wet felting process for most of the projects, but there was a cat right next to me, so I brushed her and needle felted up a ball...when the summer shedding starts, it might get weird around here.

In other news, I think I've been steered in the right direction for an project. As I kept asking for ideas, I honestly had no idea what I was looking for, but I knew when I heard it, it would stick. Over on the facebook fan page, I received some great inspiration links and ideas, but here's the one that set my gears in motion. No, I'm not going to make a chair, but formed lace beyond a simple bowl or small 3-d shape intrigued me. The one major drawback is that this sort of thing requires much planning and I'm a fly by my seat kind of creator. 

Already, I am asking for advice on stiffening lace. This chair here by Marcel Wanders is described as being draped over a form and stiffened with resin which means it's rock hard, not lightly stiffened like we usually do with lace. So I've got a few different products on order as per lovely twitter advice and I will be experimenting to find the right one to use even before I settle on my object and pattern. It's going to be a slow process I imagine and that's going to drive me up a wall, but hopefully all my patience will pay off and I'll end up with a jaw dropping piece of art too. I will of course accept any suggestions or advice in this, as I am, as always flying blind. So, here's to a great and creative 2012.