Friday, March 30, 2012

Whorls, Sales, and Other News

The sun was playing hide and seek with us all morning, but I was lucky enough to catch some early in the morning to get photos of the new pieces. I got this necklace listed first and then the earrings and finally the pendant which I didn't add anything to, but I did put it on a nice silver chain rather than the default ribbon. Once that was done I stalled for awhile before getting back to remaking. Of course my stalling was more like doing laundry and cleaning, but still. I know I said that there were more designs in the motif, but I think I'll save all that for some time down the line.

In other news, I was reminded by the intatters twitter feed that International Tatting Day is Sunday, April 1st. Yes, I know that's its a rather unfortunate date to have chosen, but that's neither here nor there. A couple of years ago I ran a special in my etsy shop for the occasion and it was rather successful. The idea was to offer a really cheap pendant in any color to get tatting into more hands. I didn't do it last year because I was just too buy to handle the extra work. The good news is I feel pretty good about doing it this year and the even better news is I decided to put together a special pendant just for the event instead of just knocking the price down on one for the day.

This is the pendant and I will make it in any color for one day only. I will get it listed Sunday morning and take it down when I rise Monday morning. I will also post the link here on the blog Sunday morning so you will have no excuses that you forgot or missed it. So just to recap, this will be a very reasonably priced pendant available for one day only in any thread color I have on hand all for International Tatting Day.

In other, other news, many moons ago I collaborated with etsy friend and jeweler Allison of RockLove Jewelry. She used magic to make some of my tatted bits into silver and gold jewelry. Unfortunately by the time she finished the line, she didn't feel like they fit the direction her business was going so they were never released. Yes, I was a bit sad, but she has decided in conjunction with her annual birthday sale (today only w/code "27thbday"), the sample pieces are going up for sale. You can fine the lace collection here. I can tell you that it is pretty surreal to see something I made with thread turn into fine jewelry.

Other than all that, the weekend will be devoted to preparing for the week ahead. I think I mentioned that the oldest has state testing and the youngest has her fifth birthday. There will be trips to zoos, parties all the cleaning that goes along with that so I'm tired just thinking about it. So I guess I'll see you again on Sunday.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


So there I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, remaking, when a thought hit me. It wasn't a terribly amazing thought, but I immediately decided to change gears and started back to work on the doodle, hoping to arrive at a finished piece. What was the thought? I don't really remember, but I think it was something like, 'If you want to do something new so bad, do it...the remaking will still be there when you're done.' Though it was probably less cohesive than that in my head.

So the first thing I did was rework the stitch count on the design. The first version had all three points exactly the same and the center was bowing something terrible. Then I completely changed how the piece was worked. The time between starting the doodles and yesterday was so long that my mind was able to let go of the way I did it originally and try a fresh approach. Often I get so stuck in making something the way I did the very first time I tried it that I resist adjusting the design for any reason, even when it really needs it. I guess I'm stubborn that way, but I'm getting better and this rework made the design so much easier to construct.

Next was the question of what to do with the piece. I was stuck with a design choice and I decided to ask the internet again. It had actually been so long since I had any announcement of any kind that I think the facebook people to shocked to hear from me, but they and the twitter folk provided a general consensus on how to proceed. I hung the piece on chains and then went to work making matching earrings as well. In the end I decided to make a third small motif for a pendant. I still haven't decided whether or not to hang something off it though.

Hopefully today will have some sun and I can get photos of all the new stuff and get it all listed. Then I think I will feel much better about getting back to the remaking. Of course this new design is not done becoming all the things it can. my mind is still wrapping around all the things I can do with it, bracelets, ankle corsets, back drop necklaces...maybe even a mask. It feels nice to have a creative direction for a change.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Long Week

Seriously if these posts get any more boring I am going to start having to apologize at the beginning of each one. I thought I was going to be able to catch up yesterday, but then I got another order that needed making. You know I would never complain about getting orders, but I certainly am curious about why most of the recent ones have either contained something that needs to be custom made or one of my larger pieces that takes a large chuck of time to remake. Like that whole feast or famine thing I was talking about before, there seems to be a cycle related to the types of things that sell at any given time as well. Of course if I was really curious enough I would go through all my sales records for the last six years and do the math necessary to come to actual conclusions so that the information could be used to make predictions about future sales. That would be work however and I am clearly too lazy for that nonsense.

I tatted at a ridiculous rate yesterday and so I start today mostly caught up. I have one necklace that needs to be remade and the rest of the pieces in my queue are ones I'd like to get made, but aren't strictly needed. For example, I like to have more than one pair of ankle corsets made up at a time so I can immediately relist them upon selling and I'd like to get a few more of the masks made so I can change their listings to ready to ship instead of custom. Of course I'd love to get something new made, but it all depends on how I feel after I get that last 'need' piece made. It's already been an exhausting week and next week will be much worse because it contains the oldest daughter's first state testing and the youngest daughter's birthday and subsequent party which means much cleaning, entertaining and adventuring. Too bad I can't sleep sitting up like the cat here.

I had some more stories to tell you about some messages I've recently received, but I don't think I'd tell them right this morning. I think I might get them sorted in my head and then share them tomorrow, maybe...I might forget then too. Yeah, long, long week.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Crazy Cat Lady

Working, working, always working. That's been about the size of my days for a little while now. Up before the sun with a day stuffed full of things that need doing. These are the days when I get nostalgic for my time in retail. You know when I'd leave the house and pretend to work for eight hours instead of actually working and then come home satisfied that I didn't have to do anything around the house because I had a full time job. Of course all that was before kids and seven cats too, so the need to clean was less omnipresent.

I chose some black cat pictures to enhance the post today. You always seem to get the white cat picture because Neko likes to lay on my lap while I work making him the easiest model. I went and actually hunted down these because I just knew that this would be another meandering mess of a post. Everything is better with a cat picture right?

I spent most of yesterday remaking once I settled all the issues I had to work on from the morning. I got details on how to properly send the package to the customer in Australia who wanted it held. I also escaped the custom order request for the 'not tatting' lace necklace. If fact I swept so many things off my plate in the morning, I was worried something else odd was going to come up, but it never did.

Today is looking like a repeat of yesterday. I still have one large piece and a couple of smaller ones to remake so I won't likely get around to anything else. I suppose that means there's no real need to speculate on what I would get up to in the event that I actually did finish. Though I think I really need to get some pictures of some lace up around here soon, people are going to start thinking I'm just a crazy cat lady and you know that I'm so much more than that.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Need Sleep

Don't let the fact that I can apparently type at 4:30 in the morning fool you. You are reading the words of a zombie again today. It was another long weekend full of just enough orders to keep me tatting most of the time on nothing new or interesting. We also had the pleasure of attending a birthday dinner and celebration on Saturday that compelled us to stay up far later than is our habit. Sure, at the time it seemed like a fine idea, but as dawn threatened to break in Sunday, the cats clawed me awake leaving me with far less sleep than is strictly required for me to function. I managed plenty of tatting on Sunday, but most of it was done in a daze. Luckily I have such good muscle memory I could probably tat in my sleep.

I promised that this week I would have pictures, only I forgot about that promise until late Sunday so you get a cat picture. Hey, it's a picture right? So what's ahead for the week? Well, more remaking of course and dealing with odd requests. I have someone who wants me to mail something so that it's held at a post office in Australia, but they haven't told me how that could be accomplished and I've no clue. I got a request last night to remake a "tatted" necklace that looks like either needle lace or machine lace or maybe even fine thread crochet. It's fine, wide and terribly long and there's no way that's getting replicated with my work. There were more of those sort of things, but as a zombie, my memory is a little fuzzy.

I image that today will require much caffeine and another early bedtime to make up for the lost sleep. I miss being a kid when lost hours of sleep could be recovered by sleeping in. Not anymore, now I need days to recuperate. Man, I feel way older than I am...not that I'm all that young anymore, but still. Okay, I've begun to make even less sense than usual so I'm going to skip proof reading this and go walk on the treadmill and hope that wakes me up even to really start this day.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Oh, Friday, this has been one of those weeks where I feared you would never arrive and now that you're here I think, what happened to the week? Yesterday was another with my nose to the grindstone. I think that I mentioned that we had advanced my daughter in a few of her courses. Well, my goal was to then finish the new courses within this school year. This means a lot more material to cover than a normal class load for both her and me and I think it's finally getting to me. Seriously, her science class is starting to hurt my head. Mass is defined as a quantitative measure of an object's resistance to the change of its speed. At 8 she's supposed to get that? I had to read it a few times before it sank in for me. My excuse is, it's been like almost two decades since I studied any science, but that's not really the point I'm trying to make here. I'm saying that I'm a bit tired.

I only managed to get one of the custom order pieces made yesterday between schooling and the book fair in the afternoon. Today, I must finish the other because I have a third that just came in late last night. It was another of those ones that was requested a week or so ago and they just picked it up. On a similar note, here's another rant for you. When you ask someone a question regarding the timing of creating and/or shipping a piece and they answer you with details, please understand that the answer applies only to now. Or if you ask if I can ship something today, I say yes if you buy now and then you buy two or three hours later, the answer no longer applies. So far I've not run into any protest when that was revealed when orders were actually made, but it's just another thing that bugs me. I really need to be more vague when answering questions.

So, more making today and again if I manage to finish, I've got remaking to do. I still have that new doodle piece to rework as well, so if I need a break from the sweatshop, I might play with that over the weekend. It's been too long since I listed something truly new. I hope to have a picture filled week for you next week just because all this text has got to be a bore. If nothing else a cat parade. See you all then.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I cleaned

Well I was half right about how yesterday would play and the rest was full of those random events which changed the direction of the day. Fairy early in the day I got  an order for two pieces that will need to be made which means all that remaking is again on the back burner. Rather than plant that grape vine I wanted to, I was finally led to the last straw that made me want to clean the damn house. You are likely aware that I have far too many cats. The one mitigating factor that makes this a liveable situation is that I have a fairly decent sized house for them to sprawl out in. This does not apparently matter as shedding season begins though. In fact the larger house just means more surfaces for the fur to coat. I just couldn't take the fur anymore and spent most of the day cleaning floors. What's sad is there are still plenty of rooms left to clean and I am far too sick of cleaning to get to them now.

Aside from the order that needs making I had one other customer conversation which inspired me to talk about the one thing I tend to dread from customers, the custom design job. Now, back when I first started selling my wares, I was desperate for sales. So much so that I would accept jobs I didn't really want to do and usually ended up charging far too little for the extra amount of work as well. While it could be said that I am still desperate for customers on occasion, experience has taught me when it's a good thing to say no. Custom orders that consist of color changes, embellishment changes, length and even some small substitutions or additions to designs are all fine and dandy. The issue arises when someone wants you to design something new or change an existing design in a significant way. See these kind of requests are the kind of thing I would rather get as suggestions. What's the difference? Well, if someone suggests that it might be nice if a design was one way or another, then if I agree when I have time, I design something for the shop that might sell to others as well. If someone buys a listing and wants some "new" design, I have to guess what the new, currently non existent design might cost, then I have to rush to design it since I'm working on their dime. Since I'm stressed I'll probably take longer designing with more mistakes and the result will be a piece only that customer will ever see that they will have likely paid way too little for leaving me annoyed and burnt out. This is why I don't design on demand, rant complete.

So I have that order to make and if by some miracle I finish that, I've still got pieces in the queue to remake. We've also got a school book fair to attend later today and there is always the schooling. Yes, I am already tired just thinking about it, but I still have to do it all.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Just as I promised, today's post will be another dry recap of an uneventful day. First though I do want to thank you all for the comments yesterday. You know I try not to whine about that sort of thing too often, but occasionally, I just can't help myself. I know you're out there reading this, but it really is nice to get the occasional, 'hey'.

So, onto the recap. I finished remaking two of the four pieces I actually plan on remaking. There were a couple of others that sold that I might not bother bringing back since they took so long to sell in the first place. Maybe I'll just save them for a time when I'm feeling anxious and need something to do. Other than the tatting there was the homeschooling of course and an evening walk with the family by the creek. Now that was a reminder that I hadn't taken any allergy medicine in a few days. I let the rain lure me into a false sense of health and then BAM, the sun cam out and the weeds, they grew...and grew.

Let's see, anything else? My brother came over to have me look over his taxes before he filed them. It's less stressful, when they're not yours, but still loads of fun. Ooh and he brought me one of his ukelele's to borrow. Why did I want to borrow a ukelele? Well, I've always tried to be musical, I was in choir and took voice classes, but I've never been able to stick with an instrument long enough to really play it well other than piano as a child. Me and the guitar never quite clicked, but for some reason this one seems like the right size and skill level for me to give it a go. Not that I have much time to devote to an instrument, but it seemed like it could at least be a nice diversion when I need one. So this morning I have sore finger tips from mucking around with it. That shouldn't affect my tatting, if anything having stronger fingers in the end might be mighty helpful.

So that's all I've got and it was quite a meandering tale of a day. The one in front of me will likely be as well. There a couple of pieces left to make, a ukelele to play, a grape vine to get in the ground before the next rain and there will most certainly be any number of other random events to drive my day. Off to it then, into the breach.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Feast or Famine

Well, I had all that stuff to share with you yesterday and nobody said boo about it, so this is what you get, a boring post. I wish I could say that I planned it as punishment, but yesterday turned into a busy, but otherwise uninteresting day. Ever since Christmas I've been dealing with a feast or famine cycle of sales. First a handful of sales then generally a week of nothing, but the wind blowing. The cycle is stressful to say the least and it mucks with my need to structure my days. When sales are slow, but steady, the plan before me is constant and thus comfortable. When the cycle begins, which is does every year to varying degrees, I find myself stressed one minute due to lack of sales and stressed the next faced with a bout of overwhelming work. I'm not writing this to tell you I've found a solution, just sharing, because if I don't vent here, my husband hears it and he can only take so much.

As you might have guessed I recently came out of a famine period into a particularly sudden feast time. I already had a couple of pieces I need to remake, but yesterday added a few more. The reason this one was more stressful is the pieces that were sold. Many things I make, I sell often and thus have the patterns committed to memory, these were not on that list. The pieces that sold were ones that combined a lot of jewelry work after tatting and I never write down the information for that stuff, I just use one piece to make a copy and then send off the first one. This plan works fine when there's just one of them, but two in one day when I'm already busy, oye. I managed to get done what I needed to in order to send off the pieces this morning with confidence, but I've got another busy remaking day in front of me. Of course that means another picture-less, boring post ahead tomorrow. Sorry, but that's the way the feast or famine cycle works.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Video?

Hello Monday. Well, I do in fact have a couple of things to share with you on this brand new week. First up was my Saturday morning surprise. So, I head over to etsy in the morning as I do most mornings and check my stats page. At first I thought I had clicked on the link for the weeks views because they were far too high for that early in the morning, so I try again and they're right. I scroll down to see the views are coming from youtube, I never get views from youtube. Now the stats page won't take me to the exact link so I need to do some google-fu to discover this video before you.

Yes, I am aware at first glace it seems like an odd place to find my work, but it's in there among many odd and awesome finds. If you just want to see mine it's at 2:39. If you see it on youtube there is a list of links in the video description and clearly this encouraged some serious clicking. Though it didn't result in a single sale Saturday, all those new eyes certainly can't hurt. I still have no idea how my little shop ended up on the guy's radar, but I am thankful for whatever did that.

I shamefully spent much of the weekend playing games on my phone instead of remaking pieces that needed it. I'm not sure why I felt the need to stall, but I was most certainly doing it much of the weekend. Last night I decided that I needed to try out the next doodle form at the very least. Once that was made up, I saw that it needed some serious stitch count tweaking in the center repeat to work in the new form, but rather than do that I would get back to the remaking that I should have been doing.

That's the plan for today as well. I have a couple of pieces to remake and they are ones that take some time, so that should keep me busy today and likely tomorrow as well. I also fielded a lot of questions this weekend that theoretically could end up as sales, though the lack of responses to my responses is not encouraging. I had someone ask if I sold my masks on facebook...because apparently that's not obvious...anyway, they were saying they needed 15 of them. I'm fairly certain that once I directed the person to my shop and they saw the prices, they changed their mind quite quickly. It's questions like that I've been dealing with. Encouraging and discouraging all at the same time. So, I'm off to the day...oops, I did forget one thing. Sunday was my blog anniversary. Yeah, I know I should have done something, but it was a Sunday. The blog is now four years old and I'd like to use the opportunity to again say Thank You for reading, commenting and supporting my work. I truly appreciate it!

Friday, March 16, 2012


I don't even remember what I did for most of the morning...oh, right, I cleaned. I must have tried to wipe that out of my head. There was much laundry and cleaning and though there were two custom requests that came in early, neither of them made their purchases and I have learned my lesson regarding making things before they've been paid for so there was no further tatting at this time. Sometime in the middle of the day I managed to injure my shoulder blade and neck, or pinch something or I just moved wrong. I really don't know, but I spent much of the evening in mild, but persistent pain. What did I choose to do? Rest? No...I tatted and played with a new idea.

This started as a bit of a doodle, just to see what would happen. Then I reworked the doodle. Then I decided to see if I could work the doodles together. After that last bit there I further decided to work the bits into a circle, though that hasn't actually happened yet. I'm not entirely certain where I got this odd ides, but after I finish with the one custom order that was finally purchased late yesterday, I will play with it some more.

No, my annoyed back/neck isn't all better this morning, though it seems to be fixing itself slowly. I'm fairly certain, as I reflect on it, that it occurred while responding to yet another of the youngest daughter's injuries to herself. There was a couch frame versus head incident and I bolted to her and picked her right up to comfort her. She may be getting too big for me to do that and she was fine save for a bump on her head. That was probably the moment when I pulled, twisted or pinched whatever something that is giving me grief. Oh well, you can't go back and in this case, even if I could I'd likely do the same thing again.

So up today is that custom order and hopefully the second custom order will move into the queue. Then it's playing with this odd bit and seeing if I can make something wearable with it. That should give my weekend a little purpose. Yes, that will do nicely.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wait, What?

I had all of one thing to tat yesterday, so I allowed my attentions to flow elsewhere. You might be aware that every month me and the husband attend a meeting at the local comic book shop. Yes, it is as geeky as it sounds, but trust I'm going somewhere with this story. The meeting is my reminder to catch up on my comic book reading. To prepare for the meeting, in which we all discuss the nooks coming out in the next few months, I also look through Previews, a large comic catalog. I flip through at a leisurely pace, just looking for something to jump out at me when I flip the page and see this:

Wait, what? Is that one of my necklaces? I quickly scanned the text and once I recognized the name of the model it all made sense. This is O.M. Grey, a steampunk author and a twitter friend of mine. She had acquired a mask and choker from me last year with the intention of wearing them throughout the convention season at various balls, which she did as well. I had no idea that this was coming however. It was a complete surprise, a pleasant one of course. The issue here is volume three of Gearhearts Steampunk Glamor Review and will be out in May. I'll probably end up picking it up when it comes out to add to my small, but growing collection of my lace creations in print. See, now this is the sort of surprise I enjoy getting from time to time.

What's in store for today? I'm afraid I'm starting another day with no plan. I'll just have to wing it again and ride the wind. At least I have that pleasant surprise to keep me going for a while. I think it's going to be a lovely, if rainy, day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Take A Picture

Despite my advanced state of zombification yesterday, I did manage to get done all the tasks I intended to...mostly. I relisted a couple of things after remaking them and, well, that's about it. I almost sat down to work out a new pattern, but I kept getting distracted by children and other household tasks. I did get one sale yesterday which provided me with one other piece to remake, but that's it. I do have the feeling this morning, that something interesting is about to happen. Let's just hope for good interesting and not bad interesting.

Since I don't have anything else to share really, I thought I'd just go ahead and answer a comment question I got this morning. The question was, how did I manage to capture the bright colors of the neon pieces? Well, I'm no photographer and I certainly will never claim to be partly because my brother is and has taught it and he'd likely laugh at the thought. What I have done though is learned a lot about capturing product images over the last six years selling online. The first tip, there is no substitute for natural light. Outside of an expensive studio setup with proper lighting, reflectors, etc, the best you can do is bright, indirect sunlight. The other thing I've learned is to tell the camera to let more light in than you might think is perfect. Use the ISO and aperture settings to get that image bright and if your camera has a white balance make sure it is on the right setting for your light conditions. It is easier to edit a photo darker than it is to make it my experience anyway. Speaking of editing, I don't use a single picture that hasn't gone through some sort of tweaking in a simple editing program. I adjust levels and sharpness and try my best to make the colors match real life, but I'm just using slider bars, nothing precise.

So, what if you can't get natural light? Well, I've used a light box and they can work, but they create really sterile looking pictures. If you have daylight light bulbs, use those. Avoid a yellow cast and if you can't you must make sure that your white balance corrects for that or you will get a yellow picture which try as you might, won't ever perfectly edit away. Let's see, any other hints. Don't take pictures on a bedspread with the date showing in the corner and for goodness sake, focus the camera, though good lighting helps with that too. There are tons more bits of unsolicited advice I could offer, but my picture aren't all perfect and I'd feel funny going on about it. I did however manage to write up this blog post with no significant events to share so, go me. There is no set plan for today either so, I guess we'll just see which way they wind blows.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Welcome to Zombie Tuesday. Okay, this time I can't completely blame the time change. This time it was my choice of activities yesterday that contributed to my lack of sunshiny-ness this morning. You see our neighbors to one side have been landscaping their backyard...for years. Since we have a two story house we have noted the slow progress. Recently they've picked up construction and installed an outdoor kitchen in the back corner adjacent to our yard, complete with a raised grade meaning they can look over our fence and we can see whatever they are doing as well. This will not do. Our solution was to buy some small, but fast growing hedges and when the weather report yesterday stated that rain would be starting today and possibly last a full week, I realized I needed to get the suckers in the ground myself. So that brings us back to why it is Zombie Tuesday and I am grumpy and sore. The end.

I did also get the fuchsia pieces listed as I said I would. I think I even managed to fully capture the brightness of the color in the pictures, which may not be noteworthy but impressed me anyway. I am pretty sure this is the last of the bright thread I have on hand, so I should really be done with it this time.

Other than my 'gardening' activities, yesterday was fairly calm and uneventful. I couldn't think of a new tatting project so I looked through my sold items to see if there is anything that I did miss remaking that I shouldn't have and I ran across a couple. That will likely be my task today unless the shop should get busy. Yes, I'm doing that thing where I write something hoping it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Don't laugh, it works more times than you'd imagine. Well, I'm off to the treadmill to shake off the morning zombies...hopefully.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Neon and Black

You know what they should call the Monday after the Spring time change, Zombie Monday. People wouldn't even have to try to celebrate it. They just have to stop disguising the fact that they are literally dragging and just go with it. The dragging is of course much more prominent in those of us with, let's just call them early mornings. It's alright though, I'll be fine in a few days and then I'll start to enjoy the early sunshine.

Last time we spoke I was working on some necklaces in those brightly hued threads. I ended up doing just three in the colors that were best received as bracelets. The turquoise here, the lime green and iris purple. I'm pleased to report that three necklace and two of the bracelets are already on their way to good homes. I guess I wasn't the only one that Spring infected. I thought I was completely done with the bright colors when I ran across a ball of bright fuchsia pink. It's another one of those colors I'm not a huge fan of, but it certainly fits within this line of neon, so I made a necklace and bracelet with those as well which should go up today.

I did promise that I had something black to make as well and I did. This one is based on an insertion pattern. I say based only because I did have to do some work to make it look right. I tatted it as written first and even though it already looked much nicer than the vintage version, I had to change the stitch counts on all the chains to get the sucker to lay the way I wanted it to. Sometimes I think those vintage patterns were just written with even stitch counts to make them seem easier. I mean the chains are always something like 6-6 or 4-4, rarely 6-4 or 5-9, but most of the time, making those sort of adjustments results in a much cleaner looking pattern. Or maybe, I'm full of it. Either way, I made a bracelet with it and got that listed.

I don't have anything in particular planned for today, or the week for that matter. I've stayed fairly well caught up in the shop and despite my concerns about the number of listings in the shop, I continued listing the new pieces well after the 300 mark. I will get the fuchsia listed and then...I don't know. I'll figure something out.

Friday, March 9, 2012


I was determined to do something, anything new yesterday. The sun was shining, the air was cool and crisp and I opted to pull out the brightest colors I had and get to work. Problem was, none of my other attempts at doing a piece in a bunch of other colors has ever resulted in a lot of sales, so I didn't just want to do those same designs again. I asked facebook and got next to no advice, I asked twitter and I got one person to offer an opinion. Lucky for me I liked that opinion and got to work. I had lime, ocean turquoise, salmon, dark Iris and lemon yellow threads and after mucking about with designs, I settled on this split ring, zig-zag stitch and spiral chain bracelet. That sprig of flowers there will be today's project of necklaces.

The bracelets worked up so fast, once I had the design set, that I got one made in all the colors I had pulled. They're all Lizbeth threads if you were wondering. I know that's a lot of neon color, but don't freak out or anything, it's just a phase. My first love will always be black thread and dramatic designs. I just had to get the Spring out somehow and I do pick up a lot of thread for custom orders and just to have it on hand that I rarely if ever get to use. When folks see my thread color list, they're always asking for pictures of specific colors. Actually having something made in those shades is much more convenient.

So all those bracelets are listed, all in an obnoxious row. Today I want to make up a few necklaces with the flower design up there on chains. Then I'll likely list all of those in the same bunch. Once that's done, I swear I will put away the colors. While I was sussing out this design, I ran across another vintage pattern I want to warp to my own devices, so I think that's next in the black. See when I'm busy, I don't complain about sales. Have a great and colorful weekend all!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Busy Is Better

The husband is home, normality can return now. Of course that wasn't the case for most of yesterday. The youngest has been fighting some sort of ick and spent the morning sullen and tired. This threw off much of my planned day full of cleaning and errands. I was less annoyed than it sounds. Once she did feel well enough to adventure we got errands ran and I got pictures of the brown scrolling necklace and got it listed as well.

That was the closest I came to tatting yesterday though. I spent the rest of the day cleaning. I blame the sunshine that makes it look all warm and Spring-like outside. It was actually quite cold, but the compulsion to tidy was strong. I tackled the seasonal change over of clothes for the children. Why must they grow so fast that clothes are useless after one or two seasons? Then there is the size difference between the two that means I have to hoard the 'in-between' sizes somewhere until they fit the smaller one. Then we have the the enormous amount of shirts the youngest owns coupled with a lack of pants because her sister put holes in the knees of everything has has ever worn. Oh well, I think that's all out of my system now even if the task is not yet complete.

I want to finish up some backup pieces for the shop today and then maybe I'll take a look through my grab bag stuff to see if I get inspired to make anything new. I've been so busy remaking that I hardly noticed that I haven't had a sale in the shop for many days. I noticed yesterday as things slowed down, which is why I'm thinking I'll just get back to busy. I whine far less when I'm too busy to notice things. Maybe I'll just get some Spring colored bits made up to add to the Fall and Winter ones I did in the Fall. Either way, I choose busy.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

That's Done

It was quite the windy day around here yesterday which kept us inside most of it. I should point out though that for the most part the children were good and my sanity was not threatened...much. As the sun kept coming and going in the morning I tried to get photos of the newest scrolling necklace. I thought I was good until I finished, edited the photos and the sun came back, brighter than ever like it was taunting my bad timing. Oh, well, I rarely, if ever retake photos because I am at my core, lazy. So that necklace is now listed.

Then I really attacked my remaking list, getting it down to those last couple of things that I simply decided to not remake at this time. My shop currently stands at just under 300 items and even though you know how much I adore round numbers, I really think there are just too many items in there. The problem is, I've been put in a 'list everything' mode by the copycats of years past. The worst one has been MIA for nearly a year, but I'm still in the habit of proving I designed something by making sure everything I ever made is still listed as proof. I know it's super silly, but I just can't completely shake the paranoia. That one could one back, or a new one...*sigh*. What I really need to do is create a portfolio page with all my designs and the approximate dates of creation somewhere else and run the shop like a normal person. Of course saying so, doesn't mean I'll get around to it.

Like I tried to say, I finished up the remaking list to my satisfaction. I even made another brown scrolling necklace that will need new photos today. I might just take the unmodeled ones though as the only difference between this piece and the previously listed one is the center bead. I used the same one as the green necklace except in brass. Then I guess it's time to figure out my next move. Make something new, tackle a house project or ignore everything, sit on my hands and wait for a new order to come in and occupy my time. Decisions, decisions, least the husband comes home this evening and things can get back to normal.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


My sanity is mostly intact, but I didn't get nearly what I wanted to get done, done. I managed a trip to mail out some orders. Then sorted some bank business. Then I decided to take a trip to Michael's for ribbon and new scissors since mine keep disappearing around here. I'm pretty sure there's a gnome around here collecting them, but since I can't prove it, I just bought more pairs. All this and schooling took me right up to lunch time. Then we cleaned since we were having the cousins over for dinner and some sanity recovering playtime. So it wasn't until then that I got some tatting done.

I started by first getting the all important findings put on all the pieces I had recently tatted. I tend to save that task until I have quite the stack to do and yesterday was no exception. After that I got one necklace made up and one bracelet. I never did get around to taking pictures of the newest scrolling necklace as the sun was no longer cooperating at this point. I should have taken care of it earlier of course. I was also interrupted by the hatching of a mantid ootheca that was pulled out of the creek by the husband. The oldest panicked at the unexpected arrival of so many little guys, she mistook them for parasites at first. We don't have any fruit flies on hand yet, so we set them free in the front yard on a nice dense bush.

I did eventually decided that I was right when I was writing yesterday in regards to the giveaway nonsense. I will set something big up for the time between this blog's anniversary on March 17th and my shop's anniversary on April 19th. The wunderkammer's is in between those dates as well, so it makes good sense. Today, I will try to get to those listing photos if the sun plays nice and I guess I keep working on that list and the sanity, I'll keep working on that too. Just two more days.

Monday, March 5, 2012


This is the start of what promises to be an utterly exhausting week. No, I didn't get some amazing order over the weekend. It is going to be exhausting because the husband is off to a conference for most of the week. He left yesterday morning. This leaves me alone with the kids which you might think isn't all that different from normal being that I'm a stay at home mom, but you'd be wrong. Those few hours at the end and beginning of the day provide necessary support and occasional relief. So as I's going to be an exhausting week.

I was going to start today with a blog giveaway, but honestly I just wasn't prepared to set it up for today, see the first paragraph. Why was I going to a giveaway in the first place? Well, here it is, the numbers I'd been waiting for. 10,000 admirers for the shop. It happened on Friday afternoon, but I thought it would be wise to sit on a celebration for at least a few days as these numbers fluctuate a lot. I try not to watch them too much really, but this was a particularly big one so it deserved a little attention. Of course now that I'm thinking about it, my store anniversary and blog anniversaries are just around the corner too. Maybe it would be wise just to save all the hoopla for then. You know wrap it all into one nice self congratulatory event to save you all from hearing me pat myself on the back too often. I guess I'll think on it. Any opinions on the subject would be greatly appreciated too.

That list of things that need remaking is not getting any shorter. Well, I suppose that it is, but it sure doesn't feel like it. I also made one new Scrolling necklace, but haven't gotten pictures to list it at all. I went with forest green and copper seed beads this time. I also did get one smaller custom order over the weekend. It's actually the first sale of my tatted tiara. It gets lots of views, but no sales until now. The one I'm making is white with's for a wedding. That should be finished and off today. That's about it for me. I'll be trying to keep my sanity intact while I work on getting photos for that necklace and getting more things tatted to relist. Here's some kitties to calm us all before the week really begins.

Friday, March 2, 2012


All the custom orders and the bulk order are off on their way to a new home and after all my other morning tasks, I got back to the list of things that need remaking. It was a nice calm, uneventful day until I got the last forms I needed in order to do our taxes. Then...I did our taxes. It's my own fault really, I started doing them myself when I was 18 and when we got married I just kept right on doing them. Each year they've gotten more complex, kids, investments, a house and now a business.  I know I already whined when I put together all my business stuff in preparation for this, but that was when I thought those last forms were coming...and they took almost a month to arrive instead. So you get a fresh round of whining where I wish I wasn't such an unorganized control freak. Of course there's no changing me now and it's almost over for the year anyway and then I'll get back to normal.

I did actually make up a nice list of the pieces that need remaking so I should be able to stay on task today. I am still trying to decide which colors I should use to make up new scrolling necklaces to replace the one off sold ones. I thought about using the same colors, but thought it might be nice to change it up a bit. I guess I'll be digging through the new bits for something to inspire me. Other than all this remaking I have no projects on the horizon so I might get some Spring cleaning done...or not. That could just be crazy talk and since I can't think of another thing to share I guess I'll just get off to it then. Have a great weekend all.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Look What I Got

Another day just as planned with lots of tatting and nothing all that interesting. Well, that is until I got a message from a customer on etsy. She had asked me for a mask with as many crystals as possible because she wanted to use it on stage while she danced and it need to sparkle. I did my best to add as many as the lace could handle and still hold its integrity, sent it off and honestly forgot all about it until I got the message complete with a video of it in action as well as this amazing photo I got permission to share with you. As you've probably guessed, she's a belly dancer and the dance in the video I was treated to has her dancing with a sword balanced across her head...I was pretty impressed. All that aside though, it is a phenomenal feeling to know that your customers appreciate your work and getting these kinds of photos makes my week.

Speaking of my week, I still have a list of things that need remaking as long as my arm, but as I suspected the shop has been quiet since I received the last one a few days ago. This is most likely a very good thing. So today, it's remake, remake and more remake. When I remake the rest of the scrolling necklaces it will have to be with different bits and that means they'll need fresh photos, so I'll be saving those for last, but the rest of the list is so random that I find myself stalling between pieces trying to decide which to do next. Hopefully I'll get my act together and get productive today. It's going to be a long day.