Thursday, February 28, 2013

Earrings, Earrings, Earrings

I didn't get as much done as I probably should have yesterday. I didn't have the concentration to work on the new art piece. Heck I didn't even have the concentration I needed to do the finishing work on the last art pieces. I guess I need some nice uninterrupted time to work on things that need my full brain power. So instead of doing something complex with my my day I remade a couple of small pieces and did some really simple designs.

First I finished up the flower earrings and got them listed. I had a set ready to go for the lovely return custom that requested them in the fist place and I made the listing for whatever color you want. When I get the other posts in I'll do a fresh listing for those which will be just a dollar more a pair.

Then I thought a bit about how I could do a different pair of earrings, ones with a little more me in them. First I tatted one of my dangle earrings onto the base, but that didn't work at all. I mean, sure I could tat it on and it looks fine, until I put it on and it bent and twisted trying to fit next to my face. So I went back to basics again and just added a second set of petals to the flower in a woven fashion and got this swirly, pinwheel design with a seed bead in the center.

I only made the first motif in the black and green colors because they were what was on top of my thread box, but they could be done in any combination of colors. So I went ahead and tatted up a pair on posts in light and medium mocha brown for a nice sepia toned pair. That's about when I decided that I had done enough work for the day.

This morning I have a teacher meeting for the oldest child so the day will be broken up again. This probably means I won't work on the 'hard' stuff today either. I'll probably just play with more earrings and think about the things I should actually be doing. Maybe tomorrow will be normal enough to get some real work done.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Another morning exhausted, but at least this time I have an adventure to blame instead of drama or cleaning. We left about 7 yesterday morning and didn't get home until after 7 in the evening. We took a train and then bus to the California State Capitol building in Sacramento. We visited both it and the the California Museum that is a couple of blocks from there. We even got to have a talk with an Assemblyman where I kept my mouth as shut as possible because it was a nice thing for all the kids, not my kids particularly, but the other ones. Then it was a stroll through the mall back to the train station where we took the train all the way home.

My husband left these photos on my desktop this morning...he must have realized that I would want to steal them for the blog. This first one is me and girls in front of the Capitol building in the sun, the only place it was warm. The wind was something else, but otherwise it was a beautiful day. And because apparently no matter where I go, I will run into something tatted we have a picture of a dress from the Suffrage display in the Notable Californian Women section of the museum. Yep, there's a nice tatted collar there and yes, I recognize most of the elements of it from my stash of vintage pattern books.

Since I was out of town all day, I of course had more messages over at etsy than usual and trying to answer them while touring a building was a bit awkward. So today I have a few messages to catch up with and then I have a couple of small pieces that sold during the day that will need to get made. I also need to get back to the post earrings. I was shamed on facebook for the design I think, since they are so simple and really not my style, so I might try to come up with another design that fits the dimensions, but is more me. I was also informed that even surgical steel is not allergy proof, so I did a little more research and ordered up some titanium posts as well which are absolutely nickle free. Of course at the end of this experiment I will have far more posts than I will likely ever use. I'm also feeling pretty lucky to have no real metal sensitivities myself. So here's to a nice, quiet, productive day.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

They Work

I'm in a bit of a rush this morning as I still have to get ready for our day long field trip. Usually I'm completely on top of these things, over prepared really, but with this weekends moving nonsense I think my head is just not quite on straight yet.

I managed to get the two pieces I needed to remake yesterday done even though schooling went extra long. Apparently the oldest child is just as fond of book reports as I was. I loved reading, I hated writing the report, but don't tell her that. Anyway, after that I made up another pair of the post earrings, this time in color, just to see how they would look. The first pair passed the shower test with flying colors. They weren't even a little bit warped and dried on their own in a couple of hours while I was still wearing them.

I ran these ones past the folks on my Facebook page and I got some good feedback. One bit was that I used the really inexpensive earring bases from Michael's and after a little internet digging I'm pretty sure they're nickle. That doesn't bother me at all, it's what a lot of fashion jewelry is made from, but it can cause issues for folks with metal sensitivity or allergies. So I'll likely be listing these on Wednesday after I have some time to make a few other colors up and as soon as the Surgical Steel ones I just ordered arrived, I'll offer those as well.

I didn't get any time to work on the other art project idea and I won't have any time to tat today as our trip is a train ride to the State Capitol building and they have a strict, no pointed objects rule. Besides sometimes one just needs to stop and enjoy the view, right? My hands may want to be busy much of the time, but even they should take a break every now and again.

Monday, February 25, 2013


I know I do this far too often, but what a weekend. Straight to the point, on Saturday my siblings, and other family members moved my mother out of her rental home into the one she just purchased. I won't go into all the drama that this house buying has been for her and subsequently for me, but hopefully that is all behind us now. We spent much of the day finishing up the packing, and while the others loaded and transported the household, I staged boxes and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more. Did I mention she has two large dogs, a cat and since the house was in the country...a mice problem? We won't speak of that again. It was one of the most laborious days I can remember and it left me sore and mentally exhausted so Sunday was almost a wash...almost.

 Well let me go back and say I got some more lovely strange lace pictures on Friday as I was almost done. I was going to put them all here, but I think I'll just put up one and add the rest to my flickr. On Sunday, once I was feeling more focused again I got back to work on the art lace and managed to finish the tatting! Yes, all three are tatted up and now waiting to be cleaned and pressed. Not sure I'm going to rush to do that step, but I'm still pleased that they are done.

I also had a few more interesting tasks to tackle. First was a request for the small flower earrings on posts. I have a bit of a confession first, I generally don't make jewelry that I don't wear, in fact I rarely even think of doing so unless asked. For example I don't wear post earrings ever so it never even occurred to me to make them. I knew that I could tat onto a post, but what I wasn't sure about was whether they would wear well or not with the lace so close to flesh. I don't glue them on, but tat around the base so the lace is on both sides.

So I picked up some inexpensive post bases and made a quick pair for me to test. They tatted up ridiculously easily with almost no pattern adjustment to fit the bases I got and then I popped them in my ears. They're still there now being tested for wear. I'm actually pretty impressed, I slept in them and they're still in perfect shape. Next I'm going to "accidentally" shower in them and see how that works out for them since I never remember to take earrings off myself. If they survive they'll probably get a small crystal or bead in the center to hide the post and then become a shop offering, well not this exact pair of course.

I also have one other task I'm working on that requires much thought and fiddling round as a proposal to create something unique has been passed by me. I didn't get to work on it as much as I would have liked over the weekend because of all the physical labor and recovery time, but that's on tap for today after I get a couple of small pieces remade. It's going to be a bit of an odd week though as we have an all day field trip tomorrow and a teacher meeting for the other child on Thursday, but I'll see what I can do. Hopefully in the middle of all this some of the potential customers that have contacted me with requests will come back and I'll have some paid work to get to as well. Then it would be a perfect sort of week.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lace and Science

I can't believe it's already Friday again. These short holiday weeks play havoc on my need for structure, but the week wasn't so bad. Doing the giveaway this week boosted my mood and I'm fairly certain the exposure is also the reason I finally got a few days of steady sales. I'm not naive enough to think that the slowness is completely behind me, but I feel better and I've gotten some good work done as well.

After I finished some lovely colorful earrings yesterday I got back to  he white thread. This project really is slow going, but hopefully it will be worth it in the end. For immediate satisfaction, I keep getting some great lace photos with my phone of all things. I Imagine if I was a better photographer I could sell things like this...I'm not though, so they'll just make my blog prettier.

I'm currently halfway through the second round of the last piece and the next round goes very quickly so I'm hoping I'll have this done by Monday. The one thing that will stand in my way is that we're suppose to be moving my mother into her house this weekend. If you were wondering was all the family drama recently had been about, it was all about her buying a house and absolutely nothing going right and money issues and her crazy current landlord, so I'm not certain even this weekend will be on track. It's one of those, 'I'll believe it when I see it,' sort of things.

In other news, after a failed science build in a lesson on electricity, I purchased a circuit making kit for the kids so we could do it again correctly without worrying about which components might be to blame for it not working. It arrived yesterday late in the afternoon and the kids immediately had to get building. It was really neat to see them both excited even though it was technically just the oldest that needs to play with it. It even managed to pull them away from Mine Craft, the game that has stolen their free time away. I just thought you might like to see the two legged kids after all the cat pictures.

Well, here's to a stress free and productive weekend...I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


It was another long day of schooling with the children. You see, the oldest has reached the point where she is required to occasionally write essay answers and while she can verbally spout off answers that are generally well thought out, she dislikes writing them. This causes us to have a bit of a power struggle as I insist that writing is in fact necessary not only for school, but you know, life. Of course my Achilles heel in school was the numbered word length papers. I contended that if I could answer the question complete with all needed supporting information in fewer words that was in fact better than filling a paper with fluff to meet the requirements...this didn't always work out for me, but I still stand by my assertion.

After schooling I managed to finish the necklace that needed making and I got back to the art piece. I stopped to take a picture, but again I went for abstract. Honestly I think it looks like art all by itself, but clearly I'm biased as I took it. I was just thinking of looking back through all the times I took pictures of piles of unpressed lace and see how many of these sort I've taken over the years. Maybe I'll actually get prints of a few to hang, okay probably not, but it could be a neat idea.

I'll be back at the art piece today. I'd say I'm about a fourth through the last piece, so it's the home stretch. I also got a custom request for a few pairs of the earrings I showed you yesterday, so I'll be making those up today as well. This month is definitely picking up a bit and here's hoping it continues to get busier. I am much more focused with orders and deadlines, not that I don't enjoy a little free time, but too much is not so great. I much prefer busy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I didn't get nearly as much done yesterday as I would have liked, but on the positive side it was partly because I was tasked with making a custom pair of earrings around midday. These were made to match a necklace the customer had bought from me quite some time ago. They were very simple of course, but there's a certain extra bit of satisfaction to have someone come back and want more of your work, so simple or not, making them sort of made my day.

The rest of the day that wasn't devoted to schooling the children was spent making up a custom awareness ribbon bracelet and starting to remake a sold necklace. That's all I was able to get done during the day though, no art piece work at all.

That brings us to today's tasks. I need to finished remaking the sold necklace and get back to work on the white art piece and that is the whole of my queue. It should keep me pretty busy today and maybe even tomorrow as well. The necklace giveaway and the few sales it generated have put me in a much better mood. I'm feeling productive, creative and content. Oh and I have another cat picture for you, this time a chair cuddle puddle consisting of Isis, Chi Sai and Ji Ji, enjoy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

That's Better

I decided yesterday after I wrote my blog post that if I wasn't going to get sales, I was going to at least get a little attention or interaction at least, so I offered up a necklace as a giveaway there. Thankfully a few sales came with it as well. I honestly forget, after a giveaway, how ego boosting they can be for me. I ask for comments to enter and people tend to offer up compliments. Of course I use a random number generator to pick the winners so they don't really need to bother, but it definitely picked me up out of my slight depression and resulted in a nice productive day.

I had a back drop necklace to make so after a walk with the family I was busy with that most of the morning, but I also took a break from that to remake some chain maille pieces that sold. In fact I worked quickly enough on that, it made my fingers hurt. After I finished the necklace it was back to the art piece. After staring a while, I figured out my first picot changes and then remembered to take a picture of the one I finished over the weekend. It hasn't been pressed, so it's a bit off, but there you have it. I only got the first two side motifs done on the third and just started the first side round. Hopefully I can get it finished up this week. I plan on washing them thoroughly before pressing, just in case all my cleanliness and cat avoidance efforts failed and then I'll be done...I think.

We're back to schooling today, so I won't have as much time to work or worry about sales either. I think I may have just had too many days off from schooling the kids and that got me maudlin over sales, not that it wasn't a legitimate concern, but I really ought not whine too much. My life is otherwise just lovely. So after schooling I have a custom bracelet to make, a necklace to remake and the last white art piece in queue. It's going to be a busy, busy day and I'm very glad of it...and because I can, I leave you with a picture of Neko, the cat.

Monday, February 18, 2013


I was about to start with, 'it was a long weekend', but I still have one more day with the rest of the family off from work and school, so it's currently a long weekend. There was much cleaning over the last few days both inside and out as the weather was quite pleasant. Of course we have another storm moving through soon which should have us hibernating again shortly.

I did manage a bit of tatting throughout the weekend as well, not as much as I probably should have, but honestly the lack of sales this month is starting to get me a bit depressed. This isn't the normal, whiny lack of sales that's actually just a slight slowdown from normal, this one has been really bad, like 90% down from last year this same month, bad. I'm sure it'll turn around eventually and I did get one sale yesterday so maybe it already is. This is definitely challenging my somewhat limited ability to be optimistic though.

What I did get tatted this weekend was the second of the three white art pieces. I could have sworn that I took a photo of it, but I can't find it, so I must be mistaken. I also worked on the the lattice technique some more. Thanks to Marilee's comment I had the confidence to play with it some more and by changing the count on the Victorian sets/zig-zag stitches, whatever you'd like to call them, I was much more pleased with how the chains laid. Of course again I have to confess that a picture I thought I took of my latest attempt doesn't exist. I'm going to blame exhaustion due to cleaning. That's probably not true, but it could be, so let's stick with that.

Since I did finally sell something, I have one piece to remake today and then I need to start on the third and final art piece. I'm still trying to work out the small differences I want to do on the third one. I thought about removing many of the picots, but they're important for that overall lacy effect, so I will likely attempt another configuration change with them once I get inspired. So here's to inspiration and a productive day.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Not Quite Spring

It was definitely an interesting day yesterday. The kids are suppose to have school today, but since the husband has the day off, I did extra classes yesterday so they could play hooky today as well. This meant the morning was even longer than usual and they were in a bit of a whiny mood to boot. Then the day took a strange turn. We went out to lunch after which we hung out outside with the husband before he had to go back to work. I suppose the relatively warm weather got me thinking of Spring because when we got home I kept thinking of yard work.

First I decided that I needed to tat a little though and I didn't want to work in white. I tried to get creative, but I think I was too distracted to really focus so instead I decided to see if I could figure out the lattice technique seen in some of the older tatting pattern books. I'm still not sure I figured it out though since there is some language in the pattern that makes no sense to me at all, 'make a loop by crossing the first stitch'...what? why? No idea, so I just did it up my own way and it looks like it's suppose to though I don't really like how nonuniform the zig-zag chains look. It killed some time anyway and I might be able to bend the technique to my will.

After this semi-successful experiment I went outside to pull the weeds I've pretended weren't growing in the back yard all winter. Some of them were the size of a cat. Unfortunately we had a lot of rain very short amount of time and our native soil is clay, so part of our backyard is still supersaturated with water. That's a nice way of saying it's like a swamp out there, a muddy, soggy swamp. This made the task much more annoying and I didn't even finish. Even so my hands and legs are sore today and I'll probably go out and torture myself again today. Hopefully I'll get some creative tatting done as well. We've got a long weekend ahead of us and I don't want to waste all of it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Black and White

It was another long schooling day at our house. The 8 year old is currently learning "algebraic thinking" which apparently means math with variables and not surprisingly this one class is taking much longer as she attempts to digest this concept. So again, I didn't get to tat anything until well after lunch.

Unfortunately I was not feeling creative, so I just got back to the white art piece. It took me hours just to redo what I had to cut out the day before, but I did have some time to start on the next round. Again, I made a few picot changes, but this time they were anticipation of changes I plan on making in the final round to the scallop edge. I only got one side done, so there's still plenty of that left for today.

I've been working with a black scarf on my lap between me and the cats so that's why the last couple of pictures have the great black background. Do they remind anyone else of the old antique pattern book pictures. In fact, since they haven't been pressed yet, they even have some of the unevenness of them. Not the looseness though, some of those books were full of the floppiest tatting I've ever seen which is why I always have to tat up the patterns myself to see what the final design actually looks like.

I've got nothing else new to work on today, so you'll probably get another black and white photo again tomorrow. There is always the chance that I find myself inspired, but I wouldn't bet any money on it. I think the algebra might be getting to me as well, or at least the tension of the child working on algebra anyway. I fear it will be another long, uneventful day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


It's amazing to me how one short meeting in the middle of the morning can throw off an entire day. We started schooling, had to stop to go to the teacher meeting and then had to do more school when we returned home. So pretty much the whole morning was off and I got nothing else done until after lunch.

I thought some more about expanding on the new motif, but nothing was clicking, so I went back to the white art piece. I settled on a couple of the small changes for the second piece. The cluster of three picots on the bottom rings and chains are the first. I was done with the first round until I came around to finish it ans realized that I had joined the bit in the wrong place. I though about just cutting out that small section and redoing it, but it was have been sloppy. After a few minutes of lamenting I cut out the whole affected side. It was a bit painful, but I want it to be as high quality as possible. Of course that means instead of starting the second round today I have to go back and do the second side of the first round again...oh, well.

The shop is still painfully slow so I have nothing in the queue to worry about. I suppose it will be a white thread day unless some new idea comes to me over the course of the day. Though I really ought to just get these white pieces done and over with. They are so large and a little bit complex that they're taking far longer than I originally anticipated. Here's hoping they look like that took that long when they're done. So I guess I really have no idea what I'll ultimately get up to today and that's never a good sign.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Now, A Bracelet

Again, I didn't touch the white thread at all yesterday. Since there was no schooling to worry about, I went straight back to the new motif to see if I could further exploit it and of course I could. Usually when I have a motif I want to make into a bracelet, I just tat three of them together. This works pretty often because the motifs I create are generally the same size. This one was just a bit too big and the point where I would need to join weren't even enough to make a seamless connection so I had to redesign the piece as a single body. Luckily I had so many prototypes lying around it was easy to lay them across each other and guess the right changes. Of course there was no way to know if it was really going to work until I was finished and I messed up on the first go around on a few joins, so I had to make another.

I know you probably can't see the mistakes in the first pictures, but I needed it to be better before I listed it. I offered the first one up on Facebook as a prototype and then went to work on a second one. The piece is still longer than my usual bracelets at about 7 inches, but that's still a pretty normal wrist size and the beauty of using the hooks as closures is you can hook further into the lace making it smaller if you want. The sun was leaving as I finished the final piece, so hopefully I'll get around to getting it photographed and listed today.

We're back to schooling today and I have a teacher meeting for the youngest early this morning, so who knows when I'll finally get to sit down and work again. I don't think I'll do any more pieces with this motif since I think it might be too wide for a tight choker. I might be able to build it up for something else though. Okay, maybe I'm not done with it yet. My queue is still empty and I really need to get back to the art piece soon as well so I've got got plenty of tasks to chose from when I do get to work. This is definitely shaping up to be a different kind of week than last week.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Universe Gives

I learned on Friday that the Universe helps those who help themselves. Yes, I'm aware that's sort of a universal theme, but it was clearly at work that day. Instead of picking up the white thread after schooling wrapped, I picked up my pile of antique and vintage pattern books and went looking for inspiration. I ran across a motif with an interesting use of negative space and decided to start there.

First I made the motif without the outside row, but just as written. Then I stared at it for awhile trying to decided what to change. I liked that it seemed to make a swirl, but disliked how unbalanced it was. So I changed the center and some of the elements entirely and some stitch changes elsewhere. I still wasn't happy with the way the piece laid, so I changed a few more elements entirely. The picture shows the first few iterations, the newer one on the bottom  and the original design on the top left.

I still wasn't happy at that point so I changed some more stitch counts and added some picots at the center and that got me what I decided was the final piece. I didn't get the final necklace put together until Saturday morning, but I think the activity of creation is responsible for the couple of small sales I got Friday evening. The moral of the story is, get creative, work hard and the sales might just come to perk up your weekend.

The rest of the weekend was mostly remaking the couple of small things that sold and working on the most recent crochet afghan. Well that and just spending time with the family. I didn't pull out the white thread once. I guess the monotony really was taking its toll. On Sunday I did finish up the last day of the TIAS. I really have no use for the finished piece that I can think of, but I'm still kind of sad that it's over. I was having a good time learning new techniques and a little patience waiting for something to be completed. I'm sure that I'll be able to use some of my newly acquired skills at some point and I'll definitely play next time as well.

So that brings us to today. My tatting queue for the shop is empty again, so I will bring out that white thread, at least for a little while. The kids have the day off of schooling, so we might run some errands as well. Hopefully at some point in the day I'll get inspired to create something else. Maybe I'll see what else I can do with the new motif. You know I love to exploit them as much as possible before letting them go. Either way, I have a feeling this should be a better week than the last one.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ah, Friday

Another uneventful day...seriously, I'm about to write the whole week off as a complete waste of time. Of course that's not entirely true. I have gotten plenty of work done. It just wasn't interesting or note worthy and we're going on day 4 with no activity in my shop as well. Let's just say, I'm glad that today is Friday and perhaps the weekend can reset the whole mood so we can start fresh next week.

Before schooling I did get day 10 of the TIAS done. It was a longer bit than most of them, but split rings with the needle are fairly easy so, it was still done quickly. Jane really is one crafty, inventive designer. The patterns she comes up with to create recognizable shapes are just so clever. It occurs to me just now that I didn't email my picture to Jane though...oops. Not that she needs my picture, there are countless folks participating.

After schooling it was back to the white thread just like the day before and the day before that. I did get the first piece done and I started on the second. I am going to be making some aesthetic changes with each piece. It won't be anything structural, but a different picot combination here and there, just to give each piece a little more of its own identity while keeping them clearly related. Again, I felt the need for a nice abstract picture to fill in the boring blogging.

As you already guessed today shall be the same routine again. After teaching the children, the white thread will come out and I'll work on that until the evening or until something else takes my attention. Although the way this week is going I don't have much hope for distraction. I really need to think on something new to do or make soon...yeah, I've got nothing. Here's hoping the Universe sends some sales, a project, or a muse, whichever the Universe prefers is fine with me. And now, because I felt like it, I will end the post with a lap cat picture.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Another day of exactly what I planned to do, no surprises, no extra entertainment, just schooling and white thread.

Directly after schooling ended I got back to work on the art project and that was most of my day. White thread, careful counting, stopping very so often to inspect the work for stray hairs and mistakes. I managed to get the first and second rounds done on the first piece, but I only stopped to take this one picture. I decided since you've seen the pattern already I'd go for a nice abstract lace picture. This is as I was working the end of the first round and the whole length is dangling from my needle...cascading lace into darkness. Can you tell the monotony is getting to me a bit.

I did get one reprieve from the task at hand as my mother-in-law came by in the afternoon to get a crocheting lesson. When I met her she was solely a knitter and not a very ambitious one, but she literally knitted dishcloths everywhere she went...everywhere. Since then she's enlisted me on countless occasions to help expand her repertoire and knits all sorts of things, uses the knitting loom and now crochets. I think she still thinks tatting is too small, delicate and requires too much attention to bother with. Maybe one day.

So I see today the next part of the TIAS up so I'll get to that this morning. Then after schooling it's again back to the white thread. I should manage to finish the first piece today and then I suppose I'll start the next. I have been pretty good about ignoring the state of the etsy shop lately, but I just checked and so far this month, I've pulled in 2 sales and that is not good. So I'm starting to stress on that a bit now. It is a traditionally slow month, but I haven't even gotten any Valentine's purchases which has me worried for the rest of the month. I suppose it's a good thing I have a project to focus on or I'd be racking my brain for ideas to pull out of the slump. It won't stop me from complaining here a bit though to get it out of my system. Again I leave you with the hope for a nice surprise today, a sale, a request an interesting message, anything that will stave off monotony.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

As Planned

When days go exactly as planned I find that I have little of interest to share the next morning. There was early morning schooling with little complaint and then it was straight onto tatting the barefoot sandals that needed remaking. The only surprise there was that I really ought to inventory what thread I have so I can order more of the colors I have been using the most of. The teal thread I used yesterday is almost at an end and I find that I never "need" thread until I'm almost out.

Once those were made, it was scrubbing up for the white thread work again. It really is cumbersome to make certain that all the thread and lace stays inside baggies or hovers over them while I work. To make matters more interesting my oldest cat, who is a black, longhair cat, has been particularly needy lately. His fur is absolutely the worst when working with white. I actually draped a shawl over him yesterday as he wouldn't leave my lap and that was the best way to separate him from the tatting without being mean. I didn't stop to get any progress pictures, but I'm not even finished with the first round yet so I'll be back at it today.

No new tatting orders in the queue for today either, so it really is just the art project. I'll try to remember to get some pictures so you at least have something to look at tomorrow. Here's hoping something interesting happens today though. I need some interesting soon.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Before schooling yesterday I had time to get the day 9 of the TIAS made up and I actually remembered to send a picture to Jane this time, I forgot on day 8. It's become pretty obvious that it's a pram, as the British call it, baby buggy, old fashioned stroller...yeah, I like pram better. Definitely not something I would have tatted otherwise, that's for certain.

After schooling, there were several chores that needed doing before I busted out the white thread. In fact I did everything I could think of before that, laundry, dishes,seasoning a new griddle. Then I felt like I was scrubbing up for surgery as I made sure my work space was extra clean and relatively cat free. The lace went in a bag as it was being tatted and the thread was in a separate bag as well. Tatting in white is so nerve racking. I managed to get the piece for an exchange done and then just the two end motifs of the first art piece. I'm doing some extra careful tatting again as mistakes are easier to see in white as well.

I have a pair of barefoot sandals I need to get remade today and then I'll get back to the white. I fear it's going to be slow going as I only have enough patience for so much white tatting in any given day. I need to be able to scratch my face and run my fingers through my hair and that's a big no no with the white as I fear trace face oils and residual hair dye. I also have to keep the cats further away, no lap sitting as their fur aspires to be part of any piece of lace I tat. Tatting with white thread is just so much more of a chore for me, but it should look amazing when it's done, so I persevere.

Monday, February 4, 2013


I don't think it's really possible to do less than I accomplished this weekend. Well, Friday was fine, I got the things in queue made up after schooling. Then I felt an aversion to pulling out the white thread so I stalled. The stalling increased and became epic avoidance and I didn't tat a darn thing all weekend. That's not entirely true, I did get the day 8 of the TIAS made up early Saturday, but that was it. That was the last I touched a needle.

The rest of the weekend was family errands and crochet. I finished the afghan I was working on and immediately proceeded to start another since I had so much cheap yarn left over that really ought not be used for anything but blankets with the primary purpose of keeping cats from destroying chairs.

So then what to do with this fresh Monday I have in front of me? Well, I have an exchange request to deal with that requires I make a piece up, in white no less. So I figure if I can get the white thread out for that, I can start to get to work on the white art pieces after that's wrapped. This means tatting with everything in plastic bags and avoiding touching my face and hair for hours on end. You'd think that wouldn't be difficult, but as soon as I typed that sentence I had to stop and scratch my cheek and my head, so I've got my work cut out for me. February hasn't seen a single sale in the shop yet, so I'm also hoping that the fresh week means fresh sales. I really do need the motivation of sales to get any real work done. So here's to a busy week.

Friday, February 1, 2013


I should never, ever start a day without designating a tatting task of some sort for later. When I don't, I end up doing something unpleasant, like the other day when I stress cleaned. What unpleasant thing did I do yesterday morning? I organized receipts. Now if I kept track of them like I say I will at the start of every year, this would not be a problem. I, however, clearly don't. No, I throw them in a pile until half my desk looks like a hoarders house and then I have to spend an hour sorting business receipts from personal and getting them placed in their accordion folders in some semblance of order so they can do me some good when tracking write-offs. This is all in anticipation of taxes which I can't do until I get all the forms from all the people who must send me forms and some of them wait well into February for overseas investment reasons. So, fun morning then.

After that I took a final laid out picture of the art project prototype to send the artist. Thankfully it was well received. I always, always worry about the acceptance of commissioned pieces. What if I had completely misunderstood the idea, the function? Don't laugh, it's happened at least once before when I was asked to make a mask for a photo shoot. The final piece turned out to be my favorite fancy design, but the photographer was ridiculously unclear as to what he wanted and I had gone far past it. The best part is once I made the one he did want for the shoot, he fell off the face of the earth and I just sold it in the shop. This is why I'm gun-shy.

So today I shall begin work on the final white art pieces. There are a total of three of them and I may add a slight variation to each one, but I'm not certain what that will be. Likely a change in decorative picots here and there just to give each a slightly different personality, but the overall design and structure is set. I've also got a couple of pieces back in the queue to be remade, so I have plenty to do this weekend and there will be no need for silly unpleasant tasks...I hope.