Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yesterday played just as planned. I tatted consistently and swiftly nearly finishing one of the custom orders by the time my supply order arrived.  Once that was here I switched gears to finished the back drop necklace that had simply been waiting for a purple crystal. I was tatting so quickly yesterday that my shoulder started to give me a bit of grief. I took that as a cue to slow down a tad, but I couldn't stop, there are things that must be made, I'm on a clock.

I did get the back drop necklace finished and as I was packing it up with the other pieces from the order, I realized that given the distance this has to travel before it reaches its owner, it would be wise to snap a few pictures, send them to the customer and confirm that everything is good before I send it away. Honestly I have yet to have a customer get something and say it was nothing like what they wanted, but I'm a firm believer in 'there's a first time for everything'. So to that end, I'm waiting on confirmation before I ship. The other custom order is just about finished, days ahead of schedule and then it's time to start remaking the sold  pieces from that and the bulk order that will also be shipped soon. I feel a famine coming on just as soon as all this is done, the shop will turn into a ghost town. I'm not sure if that's a prediction or a wish at this point.

That's really it for me as nothing much has changed from yesterday save for what I've already shared. At least you got pictures today because I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be a little light on substance and photos.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More Coffee Please

So remember yesterday I said that I was discussing a custom rushed order with a customer and was waiting for it to finalize. Yeah, well it did and it got a bit bigger than anticipated and the result is I am now a bit on the ridiculously busy side, at least for the time being. I am of course not complaining about being busy. You know how much I prefer that to the alternative, but I have been running on a bit of a feast or famine cycle lately. First nothing, then something big, then nothing, etc. and I have to tell you that it is exhausting for me, not to mention makes a boring blog for you to read in the morning. I mean, seriously, how often do you just want to slap me for going on about the same things? Oh, don't lie...I know you think that on occasion. I would almost trade the big orders in for a nice even consistency...almost.

You've likely already guessed what my day is destined to look like. I have this new custom order to work on, a mask, necklace and bracelet all need to be made. I should also get my supplies in today which means I will have the back drop necklace to finished and assemble. Then once all these custom orders are done, it's back to remaking all the pieces that have flown out recently. I had a brief design idea a couple of days ago, but I was already so busy that I literally forgot what I was thinking about. Yes, I know I should have just wrote it down when I thought of it. I will remember to do so next time it happens. I am already tired this morning thinking about the day and week ahead. I guess it's an extra cup of coffee day. I hope your days are all wonderful!

Monday, February 27, 2012

That's Better

The sickness is finally starting to leave me. I woke up this morning feeling almost normal, so yay! I also got really busy over the weekend as a former customer who bought things to sell in a store in Australia returned and picked up quite a handful of things again. It was unexpected as I've never had a shop come back for more pieces, but I digress. I just wanted to point out that I have my hands happily full.

That was what I have been working on all weekend save for a few hours spent working on the last custom order I got. I can't do the front panel of the piece until I get my supply order in though. It appears to be due on Tuesday and then I can add the all important center crystal to my thread and get that made up. Then I'll just need to attach it to the already constructed chain and get it in the post.

I still have several pieces left to remake including all the embellished versions of my scrolling necklaces. Yep, they're all headed to Australia and since they were all made with bits from my grab bag purchases the next versions will be at least slightly different. I've got another grab bag coming in this order too, so hopefully I'll get some good bits that inspire the new ones.

I'm also in the process of discussing another custom order that would be a bit of a rush...also to Australia which is a bit odd, but I'll take it. So if that order pulls together today, I'll be busy with that for much of the week and the remaking will have to go on the back burner. Man, it's a good thing I'm feeling better today. A damn good thing.

Friday, February 24, 2012


I almost didn't write today because I have that little to share. You knew I couldn't just not write though, so I'll ramble on for a bit making it up as I go. The cold I've been rocking finally took away my ability to think very clearly, you know the dreaded brain fog. Of course regardless I had schooling to do, a custom order to finish as well as blogs to schedule. No rest for the wicked and all that, but between brief bouts of productivity all I did was play games on my iphone. Well that and take care of various cold related issues.

What I did manage to complete was one of my custom orders and I started to work getting the chains ready for the custom color version of the back drop necklace that was ordered. I have to wait on some of the tatting for it until I get my supply order in, which I'm a bit worried about since I haven't even gotten a ship confirmation yet. I can't control their shipping department, but I can get everything ready for when it arrives so I can whip it all together quickly and efficiently for my customer.

One last bit of information before I leave you this morning. I got just the tiniest bit of information regarding my fashion magazine shoot. I was contacted by their fact check department to confirm on page credit information. Sounds all official huh? Anyway, I was told that this shoot will appear in the their May issue. So, I guess we've got quite some time before it sees the light of day. If I remember correctly from my retail days, magazine typically get released just a couple of weeks before the issue month, so the middle of April will be the big reveal I guess. Though I do feel like I need to burst one bubble's not Vogue. Though I will now admit to having sent pieces to Russian Vogue in the past, though they were not used there...that I'm aware of and it was a horrible experience with my contact person disappearing off the face of the internet and only getting my pieces back months later. So much drama.

Well, I think I've babbled enough. I'm off to hope I feel better today.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Man, do I feel like something died in my head and started to rot this morning. I know, pleasant image there, but seriously I feel awful this morning. Luckily for everyone I didn't start feeling this bad until halfway through the train ride home, so yesterday's outing was lovely.

The children were very excited by their first train ride and the school group was large enough that we had a whole car for the lot of us making it entirely comfortable. It was also nice since the train went all the way to Sacramento, we were initially afraid there was going to be some bus time. We then spent some time in Old Town which meant shopping and candy and then it was time to head to the train museum.

The scale of the place is much like going to an Air museum with huge trains everywhere, but with the added bonus of a large selection of toy trains as well. I'd been there as a child because that's what we all do in the four grade around these parts, but I literally remembered nothing. Not so surprising that things would change in nearly thirty years, but I digress. We had a good time. Oh, and just so you don't think the youngest here was playing video games in the museum, was was using the camera in her DS to take pictures...of everything.

On the train ride home, I tatted and was chatted up by some of the other parents curious about what I was doing. I think it's funny how people assume the small scale of the work makes it harder to do. I always end up slowing down to show them that it's just one simple knot, not magic, but I don't think they ever believe me. It was about this point that the cold started to really bother me and despite having just taken something I was miserable the rest of the way home. This of course continued this morning and I'm crossing my fingers that it was train air and I'll be fine after my workout this morning because I have more tatting to do today, much more.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Good day world. I was going to say morning there, but it occurred to me that, while I write this in the morning, that is not necessarily when you are reading and by saying good day, I am more likely to have used an appropriate phrase. Yes, these are the things I think about at 4:40 in the morning whilst sane people still slumber. The cold I acquired is still hanging on, but (knock on wood) it seems to be fairly mild and generally controlled. The one thing it took away from me yesterday was my ability to be social online. Instead I quietly worked on the custom mask, ordered up my supplies and glanced at the computer far less frequently than usual.

I do however have a few bits of good news to share. I got word back from the magazine I lent pieces to recently and the fashion editor let me know that two of my masks were used in the shoot they were sent for and I should be hearing from their fact check department for the on page credit soon. So without getting ahead of myself with information, let me just answer a couple of questions...that never got asked, but I assume you have. No, I don't know when it will be published. I'll let you know when I do and no, I'm not going to name the magazine quite yet, but I will tell you it is a Fashion magazine.

The other bit of nice news was quite an uptick in my shop views yesterday. It took me until late in the day to discover that on the new 'fashion' page at etsy there was a picture and link to my Masquerade mask. It's gone now as it was a Mardi Gras theme and I didn't get a screen shot, so I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. This leads me to one last number obsessive bit of forthcoming news. As you are well aware, I have a slight compulsion to watch for round numbers particularly as they relate to my shop. There's a big one coming and with the extra views yesterday, it's getting very close. It's the number of 'admirers' or people who have marked my shop as a favorite. It's less than 50 away from 10,000. Now you've got to admit that's a pretty number. I swear this is the last time I mention it until it hits that goal, then I'll verbally celebrate and move on. I just thought mentioning three nice things in one post would be, you know...a nice number.

In a few hours I'm off with the family to ride a train, look at trains and then ride a train home. That should be the whole of the day, so the most you can expect tomorrow morning is a train picture, but it should be a good day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Since yesterday was a holiday, the husband was home and after my normal routine was accomplished in the morning we all went adventuring. Spring weeds are exploding everywhere so when my throat started scratching, I thought allergies. Then when the adventuring was done and we were home and my throat felt worse rather than better, I still hoped for allergies. This morning as I pulled my eyes open, I finally accepted that it's not allergies, I have a cold. Damn.

As is the way of the Universe I have no time to slow down for this nonsense. I have two custom orders in queue, a movie to go see tonight and an all day field trip to Sacramento and the train museum tomorrow. This sick just will not do. So the plan is to get up, walk on the tread climber thingy hoping that I sweat some sick out. That will be immediately followed by a dosing of medications that mask the symptoms of these sort of annoyances. I will repeat until I am allowed to pass out at the end of the day. Oh, and plenty of water too, that is always indicated right?

As far as tatting is concerned, I can start work on one of the custom pieces today and I got asked about another yesterday as well, so once that's purchased I can work on that. I also need to put in a supply order today as well. I always stall on those knowing I will forget something and need to do another in a couple of weeks. It's also almost time to make my annual mass purchase of black thread. Seriously, you guys would freak if you saw how much of that I go through. Except maybe you hand dyers out there, you likely go through as much white, if not more, but at least yours is on cones not in boxes upon boxes of thread balls. So that's it then, I'm off to sweat and hope that this is the shortest lived cold ever and since all this writing is boring, I've left you a cuddling cat picture.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Hello Monday. While it was a long weekend...and technically still is, I must pretend it is a normal Monday. Why? Well, you've probably figured out by now that I am a creature of habit. This is by design. You see, if I skip something that is part of my self designed schedule, then it becomes easy to skip it the next day and the next. It doesn't take long before there is bedlam and the routine and been utterly destroyed and must be rebuilt from the ground up again. So, holiday or not, happy Monday.

I'm afraid I have nothing new to show you, but I did manage to keep busy. For the first time since I started making masks, one ended up with an owner it didn't quite fit right. After some online consulting about what might fix the problem, we determined that she simply has a petite face and no adjustment on her part will fix it. After some measurements were taken, it seems her face is smaller than mine and since I am quite a small person, I didn't think that likely to happen, but it was possible and here it is. So I spent much of the weekend finding he best way to size the design down just a bit over the nose and made it up. The customer will send back hers and I will replace it with the first sized down mask I've ever made.

Aside from that task I sold three different pairs of barefoot sandals over the weekend. It must be that feeling of Spring in the air getting people ready for bare feet weather. Whatever it is, it kept me busy over the weekend remaking them. Then yesterday I was contacted about a special order for a wedding that includes a custom version of my new back drop necklace. This one I'm really excited about. I have to order up some supplies before I can start, but I'm just so happy that the new design has been liked. I am always worried when I try something completely new. I have certainly come up with a few stinkers over the years, but if I don't keep innovating, I fear the copycats will catch up with me. No, there aren't that many right now, but since that last couple of really bad ones the paranoia stuck with me. So I keep moving forward and now it's time for my Monday routine to continue elsewhere.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Done And Listed

I'm certain that I mentioned my daughter recently advanced to the next grade level in a few subjects that she was enjoying and we finally got in the new books Monday for her Science and History. What I don't think I have mentioned is that the length of the time needed to complete these new lessons has increased...well, a bit more than expected. My morning schooling sessions have begun to stretch out another hour and while I have no problem doing all that is needed to educate the kids, it has left me with less time to get anything else done.  I assume that this is just transitional and as I get used to it, I will naturally adjust my schedule as I've done many times before. Until then I have a feeling that I will be less accomplished, more exhausted and far less interesting online.

As soon as schooling was wrapped, I did get to the one big task for the day, the photo shoot. I employed my daughter for a stand-in to get the focus right and used the camera remote and a short delay to get the necessary back shots. I was quite relieved when they turned out okay. I also trolled the listing on etsy for the back drop necklace to check the other photos and it seems that most of them went with a mannequin so that makes me feel even better about the modeled pictures turning out. I did also get the necklace named, a bit of a tribute there, priced and listed, so at least one task complete.

Now that this one is complete though, I'm, not sure what I'm doing next. There aren't too many awesome ideas rattling around inside my head right now. I decided not to remake the recently sold masks, as I have others listed with the same patterns just in different colors and let's face it, at nearly 300 items, my shop is bloody full enough. So I guess I wait and see what presents itself. I might get back to the sculpture project I keep yammering on about, but I'm still at a loss on which direction that one is going. I'm waiting for inspiration to hit for that too. So I'm leaving you on a Friday with nothing to look forward to on Monday...I'm sure I'll think of something.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Necklace Is Done

Yesterday was pretty much back to normal. There was schooling and then I sat down determined to work on the embellishments for the front of the back drop necklace and get that made at last. I decided to simply echo the front on the back a bit save for the addition of one large black German crystal. Of course once I finished it, I was suppose to get real photos of it, but did I? No.

As you might image the set up for these pictures will be a bit different than usual. First I have to find something in my wardrobe that shows my back off and I'll have to freeze while wearing it. Then I have to take pictures of my back...not sure how that's going to work, next I'll have to take pictures of the front of the necklace as well. I think I might have to employ my daughter as a photography assistant which might work. I did think about just using photos from the mannequin, but she's in an odd twisting pose and I don't think it really show the piece off right.

If I do somehow manage all that today, I will then have to work out the pricing on this piece that took me days to work out and for once, there is fairly significant material cost to calculate. So, I suppose what I'm saying is, there's a slight chance he piece will be listed today, but don't anyone go holding their breath.

In other news, the pieces I loaned to the Canadian magazine returned quickly and save for a couple of makeup spots that can be cleaned on the inside of a few masks, they're in fine condition. I still don't know if they will ultimately see publication or not though. I sent a note thanking them for the opportunity and asking if they could let me know if they do, but as it's still New York Fashion Week, I think they might be otherwise occupied. I will of course let you know when I know.

So today's tasks aside from the necklace photography are few. I do have a couple of masks I could remake, but I'm not sure I will. There are always a few pieces that I take so long to sell that I can't see bothering to remake them. I suppose I could list them as custom pieces so the option is available to have me make them in the future without me expending the effort unnecessarily. That gives me nothing to do in the present though...I guess I'll think of something.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Work and Sadness

Yesterday worked out just as I thought it would. The entire morning was a wash. There were meetings and errands and lunch with the in-laws. By the time we were back home the day was half over and I hadn't touched a thread nor a piece of jewelry. I thought about letting the entire day slide, but I felt I really needed to get back to work so I started on the final back drop necklace piece. 

It took a lot of measuring and cutting chain and twisting wires, but I got all the chain pieces put together. I know I should have started with the lace, but the final look is shaped by how the chain turns out so I thought I'd try that first. Honestly, I think its really neat with the swarovski rounds dotted throughout. Of course it also took forever to make up. I would have been done with the piece if I'd gone with plain chain, but I digress. I did manage to get the tatting for the back all done up and I am really pleased. I don't even think I'm going to have to stiffen it now, but I'll test wear it first to make sure of course. So today I'll get the front lace made up. It will have a large crystal as well as a few rounds hanging from the lace to not only embellish, but help with weight distribution. Now that the back is heavier, the front needs more weight as well. That should be the whole of my day.

I almost started the blog with this, but I couldn't follow this news with frivolity, so I got that out of the way first. Before I blog every morning I read through the blogs I follow. Well, that's an exaggeration, I read a few without hesitation and I scan the titles of others. I only do this early in the morning so I just read on Jane's blog that Gina of Threads of Tatting Goddess has passed away. Hers was one of those blogs I always read...always. I had some wonderful conversations with her and I always looked forward to her comments. I am personally very saddened by the loss of her voice in tatland and the rest of the world. I looked to few for advice, opinions and the occasional gossip and she was one of them. I wish that I had known her longer or better. I just needed to share a little myself, but If I dwell too long I'm gonna get weepy. Thanks for everything Gina, you will be missed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Somebody shoot me now...I worked on the books yesterday. I started off the day with schooling as usual, but when I was done, I thought, hey, I'll get started on some of this number stuff. Three hours later I looked up and realized I'd just sucked half the day away. So, since the husband had the day off we all went out for lunch and ran a couple of errands. Then we decided to play a little catch up with out dvr allowing me to tat a little, but just some remaking. It was nice.

Then what stupid thing did I do? Yes, I went back to the books. Let me just say to any of you out there toying with the idea of turning your beloved hobby into a business, make sure it's really worth it. I am a lousy book keeper and that means at least once a year I want to ask people to shoot me. Sure, I keep all my records in a nice searchable file. Sure, I keep all my supply receipts in order and easy to find. I know where to download all the various information and compile it into a usable document. I even know what to do with the information when that's done.  I derive no joy from it though and even though I know I should do it all year long to make the task easier each time I just can't bring myself to suffer this every single month. Instead I suffer for a week or two each year...welcome to the suffering.

So, as you have guessed I am no further with the new piece and today I have a meeting with the home school teacher as well as lunch plans so I don't know what I'll manage to get to today. If I'm being completely honest, there is still more I need to do with the books too. This year PayPal sent out a new form detailing the payments one received and that gets sent to the IRS as well, so I have to comb through all my transactions to find all the times I used this phrase, 'Oh, just paypal me the money'. Then I have to add those to my etsy data to make sure all the numbers match. Sorry, I didn't mean to go off on the number stuff again. I do hope to get back to some tatting today. I need it for my sanity.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Hello Monday. So, it's time for the weekly weekend recap. I did indeed pull down the mannequin and get designing on the back drop necklace. Now, if you're wondering what that is, it's a necklace meant to hang long in the back, usually worn by brides with a backless dress. I looked high and low for different design ideas for this, but there were only two basic designs I could find. One is a single or double chain hanging straight down the back ending with pearls or crystals. The second is a single, double or sometimes triple chain draping down in the back at different levels. All of them have simple fronts with a pendant. Obviously I couldn't just settle for either of these concepts as I needed to add tatting and well, I wanted it black and a bit dramatic too.

So this is the prototype. I don't generally make up whole pieces including chain work as a test, but there were so many factors with this one, I needed to. I used some bulk cheap chain I got at the craft store and didn't bother to embellish anything. I just wanted to see if I could get it to hang right, not strangle the wearer and well, be at least a little like I imaged it. Here we have the back and front view. I posted this up online to get feedback since I was very much in unfamiliar water and the only real complaint with the design was the shoulder flowers.

Those were tatted around metal rings to add stability and weight to the design and I made them first before any of the other bits and thematically, they don't really fit. So after after the feedback, I changed their design to reflect the scrolling in the other pieces. So now I'm asking for your opinions on the whole piece as well. The final piece will include a black crystal in the center bottom of the front piece, the chains will also be embellished likely with black swarovski rounds and I'm still debating the degree of embellishment of the other lace bits. I also still deciding whether the pieces will need to be stiffened or not. You know I personally prefer the lace soft, but will all the chain connections, I'm afraid misshaping with occur quickly without help. Perhaps I will just stiffen the back pieces. See, still working out details. I'll try to get it done up today or tomorrow, but no promises since there is so much to work out.

Other than the work on this piece the weekend was fairly normal and uneventful. I got a couple of smaller sales and I'm getting ready to do the taxes since the last of my forms should be available this week. So, totally not looking forward to this all.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Paper and Lace

It was another day of meandering and getting not a whole lot done. I managed to keep myself busy in the morning with schooling and whatnot, but by the afternoon it was clear that I would need to choose a path for the day. First I finished the butterfly. Don't mistake the color on the photograph for reality though, just playing with filters. Also don't mistake the design for my own creativity, I downloaded it off of deviantart. The only thing I did was cut along the lines, but since I was relatively proud of myself for finishing the project, you get to see it.

Then I was onto more stalling. I worked on another ornament, thought I would keep that up and then decided that no, I need to do something new. It had been suggested to me that I make a back drop necklace of some sort. Now, most of the ones I've see are quite simple with beaded chains coming from a simple necklace down the back. I needed something far more dramatic, so I started envisioning. So far, I only have a few bits made for a prototype and a few ideas that need to be realized, but here's a photo, so you can see what I've got so far and puzzle yourself with what I plan to do. I'm sticking with the scroll technique as I think it's going to be my signature for awhile. We all talk about how there is only so much you can do with rings and chains so when you stumble into creating a design that looks and feels original, well, you milk that cow until she's dry.

Moving on from that disturbing imagery, I hit a bit of creators block toward the evening and decided to cut some more paper. This time, I thought why not combine the lace and the paper cutting. Yes, yes, I am aware that is all paper doilies are, but I'm fairly certain those are not hand cut. So I mucked with an image of my newest mask until I thought it might work. I printed it up way too big on accident, realized that was probably best for my skill level anyhow and I started cutting. I used just regular paper this time as it was an experiment and here I'm about half way done. If I have time, I'll finish it up today, just so I can say I did, but the source photograph made it less awesome than I hoped. Perhaps I should take some pictures with this intent so everything lays well for the conversion. Maybe, if I stay on the paper kick long enough anyway.

So, what's up for today. Well, I think I might pull my body mannequin down so I can keep designing the back drop necklace. It's hard to envision it without a back to judge the size and drape on. Funny, I can't just use my own this time and I'm pretty sure the kids are too small for this one too. Hopefully I'll have something new to show you on Monday and some sales as well. Trying a little positive thought thrown into the Universe there. What? It can't hurt right?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thread For Paper

Well one half of the to-do list can be crossed off. I've finally caught up with all the pieces that needed remaking. So that just leaves the other half of the list that contains the ornaments and all the pieces currently listed as custom orders. I think I am stalling a bit on all of that though. I guess I've still hoping that all the lent pieces return quickly and safely and if I make extras of them now, then I'll have doubles. Yes, I'm aware that probably isn't a bad thing, it's just I'm so tired of all the production work right now. I think I need a more interesting purpose to my work. Of course I have no idea what that would be, but I think I need it anyway. The ornaments are almost as bad since there are so many of them that need making and they will all be repeats as well.

So I did stall a bit yesterday after I finished the last bracelet that need making and I decided to try my hand at paper cutting. If you read my other blog, the Wunderkammer or follow my new Tumblr, then you might have noticed that I've found quite a few paper cuttings lately and I was intrigued. After all, the intricate nature of the work is quite similar to tatting. So I downloaded a template and started cutting. My gracious it is time consuming and my hand is not nearly as steady and smooth as it needs to be for expert cuts, but the whole enterprise did what I needed it to do. It distracted me and my fingers for a while. This is just halfway through the piece and as you can see, not very smooth on those lines, but hey, it was my first try. I'm almost done with it now. I guess I'll finish it up this morning just so I can say I did so and then start to contemplate that tatting list again.

So again, I'm pretty boring online, but at least I had something to share. Since the last two days have been relatively uneventful I'm crossing my fingers for something interesting to happen today. Well, that or at least come up with something creative for me to do. Well Universe, go ahead and hit with something good.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Hey look over there! It's a cat. See, I told you I'd take cat pictures in a vain attempt to distract you from my lousy blog content during this time of remaking. I do feel a little guilty though, because it is the same cat you always get pictures of around here. This is Neko. He is the lap cat of the bunch. If I am sitting for long enough, one of the older cats will sit on my lap and eventually Neko joins them. All the kittens have begun to find their own times for attention, but this one is by far the most affectionate of the bunch. Since he is often on my lap, he makes the easiest photo subject.

As far as tatting goes, I've gotten most of the backlog taken care of save for a couple of cuff bracelets and I still have quite a few masks listed as custom, so they are on the list too. Of course quite a few of those are part of that magazine package I sent off on Monday so theoretically they should be returning. I've just been burned too many times to assume they will. At this point if I send off things to be borrowed I pretty much write them off and then get to be pleasantly surprised if they do in fact return.I know that makes me sound like a horrible pessimist, but it works for me.

I still haven't even got back to the ornament project. Honestly, I figured the timeline on that on is pretty loose so I'm not going to rush as they other things that need doing really ought to be done quicker. So, that's about it. I will keep going as I have for the last few days. I will be boring online and get work done. Hopefully the universe will reward me with steady business at a slightly less furious pace than this. Yeah, that would be just lovely.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Busy, Busy

Again, I have nothing show you, but what a busy, busy day I had. Just when I was about to sit down after getting dressed in the morning, I got an email reply regarding one of those interesting convos I mentioned yesterday. While I'm not about to spill details as you all know how I feel about that, I will say that I ran around like a chicken with my head chopped off much of the morning to get a package out to a Canadian magazine. Who know whether it will pan out or not, but if it does more details will of course be forthcoming.

Aside from that little bit of chaos, I'm also starting to teach my youngest in the morning alongside her sister to get her, and me, ready for next year when she is in school officially as well. This means I am no longer sitting comfortably next to one child, but moving back and forth across the room to assist them both and keep them both engaged. This means that schooling is slightly more exhausting than ever before. A little more exercise is good for you though, right? Once that was done for the day I received an order for a custom color pair of barefoot sandals, so it was onto that.

Towards the end of the afternoon, I received yet another order. I'm not sure what was in the water yesterday, but man will I be busy remaking things for a while. Also, I hope that water additive is a permanent thing, because you know how I prefer to be busy. Also I think I might have to start taking cat pictures again during the day to liven up these tatting free blog posts. Well, off to it then. I have much tatting in my future.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Another Monday

Well, it was certainly a long weekend if nothing else. I went into it with that custom order to attend to and the thought that if I managed to knock that out I would get back to the ornament order too. Of course I didn't even get close and I am still working on the custom order. It never fails that when I need to make pieces for an order, I need to make more than one and they are never small pieces.

I even packed up my tatting and brought it with me as I accompanied my husband to a doctor appointment on Sunday. He had to have a test done that required I be there to drive him home. So, for two hours I sat in a waiting room and tatted. The only interesting thing happened about a half an hour before I left. A nice older lady started to comment on my work. She asked if it was tatting and then continued with her surprise to see someone my age doing it and of course the whole 'lost art' speech. Then there was another lady who had to comment as well. Before I knew it I was pulling out my phone to show them my etsy shop to show them what I make. That was because I was making ankle corsets and try explaining that without a visual aid. Needless to say it was an odd morning.

Unfortunately that is really all I got up to over the weekend. I had a few other etsy conversations that I might tell you about later if they come to anything, but for now, today is booked for more remaking and then back to the ornaments...maybe.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Yikes, Again

I didn't really think I'd be starting another days post with the, 'what a day' sentiment, but I am. The first event was me replying to a friend who had asked about having me make their annual handmade holiday gifts for next year. I had given her a snowflake one and she thought they'd be great. What I didn't realize was that she was fine with getting them done now...20 of them. So I started designing and looking through old patterns to get a few different patterns to use for the purpose. This kept me rather busy for the afternoon. Plus with the lack of sales lately it was nice to think I'd be getting some money coming in.

Then the second event occurred. I got a message asking if someone could buy a pair of slave bracelets. "Sure", I replied and I added a second to the listing. Often when I get these requests the buyer disappears for a while so I didn't hold my breath. Then the same customer responded they they intended to make a large purchase and could they get a small discount. "Sure", I replied and offered them a coupon code discount. Again, when this sort of thing happens, it is often that I never see the customer again or if I do it's weeks later. I think you've guessed by now that the customer actually and immediately made their purchase. I do so adore it when people say what the mean and do what they say.

So I have a lot of things to make today. Half of that order was for custom pieces and once those are done I will also need to remake the other sold items to get them back into the shop. Then it will be back to the ornaments. I have also had a couple of new ideas for fresh pieces lately, but for now, creativity be damned, I've got some real work to get on with this weekend and I'm feeling pretty good.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


What a day I had. Right after I finished writing here I went to exercise as is my way. Only at some point I stretched wrong and my lower back screamed in agony. It remained pretty annoyed with me all day long hampering many of my daily tasks. Of course this morning is seems to be almost all better, so whatever I did wasn't all that bad.

But wait, that's just the beginning of my odd day. Then I received an email meant for someone else, another tatter based on the pattern requested, which was weird enough by itself, but the request in the email was to use tatting designs as machine embroidery patterns. Honestly, I'm glad it wasn't for me, I would have said no quite quickly. I went over to intatters to share and discuss because I was curious about the prevailing opinion on this sort of thing. I was also directed to a conversation that had already taken place when these machine embroidery "tatting" patterns were discovered by others. I just think it would be silly to give someone permission to easily recreate your designs with a machine, even if we, as tatters, can tell the difference, the public may not. But I don't need to get all into this again, it was weird, that is all.

I also got the new mask all photographed and listed. The stiffening worked just as I hoped. It is comfortable on the face and holds it's shape well enough to put it on over glasses. I even used the last listing photo to demonstrate. Of course I was wearing my glasses and my contacts at the same time so I can't see a thing, but I swear it worked. I just looped the ribbon around the arms before tying it on as usual and the mask hugged my glasses.

Next up was the other weird moment. I received an email with an offer for a possible major magazine photo shoot that requested the use of my fancy Masquerade mask, the one that I have on hand. I had to say no though. I know, I know, why would I do that? Well the request had conditions attached to it. I needed to be able to say I could reproduce the item in multiples and ensure its availability after a certain date. With the length of time it takes to create those masks, there was no way I could honestly claim that. They also needed the mask today on the other coast which would have meant some seriously quick overnight shipping. I know my husband is disappointed that I didn't do it, but it just wasn't feasible. The person I talked to was quite understanding and said that they'd keep me in mind for future projects. I certainly hope that's true and I haven't just blown a once in a lifetime sort of thing. Sometimes we just have to say no even when we really, really want to say yes.

Well, I think that was all the weird for the day. Well that and my shop has just broke 300 items listed. I'm not sure that's a good thing at all, but slow sales or not I have to keep making things, it's what keeps me sane. I don't have any specific tasks in queue for today, but I'm sure I get the bug to make or remake something. Man, how can it only be Thursday?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wait, It's Not Saturday?

It's apparently one of those weeks where I wake up thinking it should already be Saturday when in fact we've barely reached the middle of the week. No sure what's doing it though. Could be the weather, icy cold in the morning, pleasantly warm in the afternoon and right back to dark and freezing in the evenings. It makes every day feel like three. Well, at least my nearly five days with no sales streak was broken yesterday. I had been getting quite antsy. If it weren't for the mask project I would have been whining my head off.

Speaking of mask project, I did get a second one finished up yesterday. It's still sitting in the kitchen as it was drying overnight. The experiment this time was to stiffen only one side on the lace, the front. My hope is that it will hold it's shape well enough to be worn over glasses and still be soft enough to shape onto a buyers face as well. This means I'll be playing with it all morning to see how it fares and if it passes, I'll try to get it photographed and listed today as well. I'm kind of hoping that the new masks will draw in some Mardi Gras business. I usually don't get much, most of my masks tend to go to various balls and masquerades throughout the year, but things can always change.

Let's see, what else? Not much...I remade the items that I sold yesterday already so I don't have much in queue for today. I still haven't decided what I'm going to do with the tatted hat either. I think I'm waiting for a burst of inspiration on that one. I guess today will just have to be a surprise. Hopefully it's a good one.