Friday, March 29, 2013

Busy & Thanks

So with a task of remaking ankle corsets, I managed to do nothing else the entire day. Well, that's not entirely true. There was an unfortunate bout of cleaning first thing in the morning when one of the cats could not be bothered to 'go' in the litter box and someone stepped on it and tracked it throughout the house. I know, fun, right? Then there was a lovely walk after schooling the kids. Aside from those two events and the occasional break browsing the Internet, all I did was work on ankle corsets.

There are pieces I sell just often enough that I have their patterns and constructions committed to memory, but many of the things I've made over the years have been made just once or twice so every time I have to do one of those pieces, it's a much longer task. I try to have the existing piece in hand if possible so I can clearly see all my joins and stitch counts since they're not always the most logical choices. Yesterday's pair was once of those. So I'm not even close to done with the pair.

After I do finish them, I have another pair in a different style to make as well. Though the next pair I am more familiar will so it should be less of a hassle. The rest of the weekend will probably be dedicated to more family adventures so don't expect much om Monday unless something terribly interesting and unexpected happens. Oh, and before I go thanks to everyone who took the time to watch the new video and comment. I really appreciate it, you make me feel like I put something at least a little bit useful into the world, thanks!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lock Stitch

It was quite a day yesterday. It was busy, productive and fun and relaxing though I'm still a little tired from all of it. First thing I managed to do yesterday after schooling the kids was get the lock stitch video filmed and posted.Yes, you heard that right, I actually did that. It's posted on YouTube and Instructables and of course right here.

It's really rather short, but I think it does what it needs to. Never mind that it took like an hour of babbling to myself just to end up with a two minute clip. I thought about waiting to post it with all the other pieces of the petals pattern puzzle on Monday, but I really needed the feeling of accomplishment that can only come from putting something finished into the world and getting any kind of feedback at all. The initial small flurry of views and comments were all I needed to feel justified in my effort.

After that I had my nieces and nephews to babysit for the afternoon, so I didn't get much else done. I was far too busy monitoring the playing and nonsense that only occurs when extra kids are about. It wasn't a bad afternoon, just chaotic. I did get a couple of interesting emails that may result in extra work, but it's too soon to tell.

The evening was rounded out with dinner out with friends, which I do honestly wish we could do more often because it makes me feel like an adult and because it allows me to actually talk to other grown-ups I'm not related to and because my friends are terribly awesome with ridiculous stories.

So that brings us to today's tasks. I woke this morning to the sale of some ankle corsets, so I have ready made tatting tasks in their remaking that will take me at least the day if not a few. Oh, it's definitely going to be a few days on those which I can deal with. Crazy as this week has been and next week is going to be, I'm feeling pretty good about all of it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's Something Anyway

It was an interesting day. Not exciting, interesting, but still. Schooling ran very long with the oldest working on her first book report. Of course I just sat there encouraging her to work while I played on the Internet. She doesn't need to know what I was doing on the computer though. When we were finally done I had vacuuming I needed to do. It's Spring and the cats are shedding, all six of them, so the dust bunnies look a little more like dust yetis and it just couldn't be put off any longer. All this meant I couldn't even think about tatting tasks until after lunch.

Timing was on my side though, it wasn't until after lunch that the sun came out making it perfect for taking the pictures I needed to for the pendant listing. So that is all taken care of and saved as a draft ready to launch when I wake next Monday morning. The next question was whether or not I really "needed" to make a lock stitch video. This question sent me searching for one and I could only locate a shuttle tatting one, so I accepted that if I did indeed want one to exist, I would have to get on it.

It was just too loud around here to even think about doing one yesterday, but I did get the prep work started for it including a couple of sample pieces. I thought I'd make one up with solid and variegated shade to show how decorative the different colors can be as opposed to the more utilitarian look of the solids. The sample got me thinking a little about a new piece as well. I also painted my nails because they were looking haggard and since that's all of me that you see in the videos, they should at the very least look taken care of, right?

So the hope is that this morning schooling will be quick, the sun will be out for natural light and dozens of lawn mowers will not be visiting the neighborhood. It should be a very short video, but I generally mess up several times before I finally manage to create something usable so I need plenty of time to work on it. If nothing else comes up to distract me and I actually get it made today, well, I'll be pretty shocked myself, but I'm operating on the premise that if I write it up confidently that I might actually follow through. Hey, it could happen. If I don't I only have a few days left before my self imposed deadline. Man, I have been ridiculous lately. Here's hoping I can pull myself together and get back to form soon.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I accepted a bit of a life lesson yesterday as I attempted to replace old photos with new ones in someone else's layout for my tatting pattern. I usually try to figure these sort of things out myself. I try to think of myself as moderately clever and adaptable, but about an hour or two...maybe three later I threw in the towel and accepted that I just did not have the requisite background skills to complete the task. I found myself asking for help again feeling a bit like a failure. It is quite difficult for me to put tasks in the hands of others, partly because I know I could learn how to do it myself given the time and proper instruction and partly because as a bit of a perfectionist I like to control things. Luckily in this case it was much more the former than the latter as the person I cried to for help is far more clever in this and has a complimentary aesthetic sense that I trust. I still feel like I didn't accomplish a thing all day given my repeated failed attempts.

I wasted much of my day with that adventure which left little time for much else. I did manage to remake a pendant and bracelet, but I didn't get round to any of the other tasks I had laid out for myself. I was also so focused on next week's events that I nearly forgot about several this week. I've got babysitting tomorrow and a dinner. Then on Friday we have a pizza party for the kids to attend for lunch. So between all that I really need to focus on getting that video done, if it's going to be done at all. I might just end up searching YouTube for an existing one and pass the buck if one does already exist.

Other than the video I still need to get the pendant listing ready to go which means pictures need to be taken. I think maybe I can handle that task today. Sales are still glacially slow so I've been making an extra pair of barefoot sandals just to keep busy. If I finish those I was thinking of making a mask that's currently listed as a custom order. I'm just trying to keep working and making knots. It's a charmed life.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Checked Out

I had one of the single laziest weekends I can remember. Sometime Friday afternoon I basically checked out. I'm not really sure what did it, but I was tired and I didn't want to do anything. So I sat there on the couch doing absolutely nothing of value even though I did have things that could have been attended to. I got back some lovely notes on the pattern from the test tatter who did far more than make notes, just wait until you see how nice the layout is. I should have spent the day redoing photo notes and finalizing the pattern so it would be done and ready for next Monday, but I didn't...I sat.

I didn't get round to any of that the rest of the weekend either. Instead I filled the time that wasn't taken by family errands and walks to read a book. Yes, a grown up novel. This is something I had not made time to do in a very long time. I used to read like a machine especially as a child. The amount of books I consumed was truly epic and now it's a rare thing indeed. I still read all day of course, but my reading is now online, kids text books and stories, the occasional magazine and when I can carve out more time, comic books. So I spent the weekend reading and sadly finished the book early Sunday afternoon. Apparently lack of practice on novels did not dull my ability to devour them quickly. I'm hoping that my little mini weekend vacation was just the break I needed and that I can get back to the grind today without the crazy malaise that took me down on Friday.

So today my plan is to get that pattern ready to go and also to get the listing ready to go for the pendant. I have the week to maybe get a video on the lock stitch up and just a couple of small things to get remade for the shop. Next week is going to be a doozy though. First there's Easter followed by the pendant  and pattern sale next Monday and the youngest daughter's birthday on that Wednesday. Then I have nieces to babysit on Friday followed by the accompanying birthday party on Saturday. I imagine all the free time next week will be filled with making the ordered pendant since I'm going for a 'choose your color' approach again. Maybe I should just stay checked out out this week because I think I'm going to need all the energy I can store up.

Friday, March 22, 2013


It's probably no shock that I didn't get round to doing a video yesterday. Once schooling was wrapped, I didn't really have enough time before lunch to do it and by lunch time I had gotten a mask order that needed making. People paying me money for things always takes precedence over the free things I do because I like to help folk. Those are spare time things and luckily I had none of that yesterday. Man, I'd make an awful philanthropist...unless I was already wealthy and then you'd get tons of free tutorials.

On top of the mask I needed to make, there was also a book fair/open house at the book store for the kids virtual school. We try to do as many of the 'social' things as we can manage, so we went off to that for the afternoon. This put another huge dent in the day though, so I still have plenty of mask making left over for today.

Ooh, I almost forgot that I did do at least one thing I said I would yesterday, I finished, photographed, and listed the slave bracelet fairly early in the morning. It seemed rather well received. While it didn't fly off the shelves or anything, it was added to a few favorites listed quite quickly, so I'm feeling pretty good about that.

So today I still have a mask to finish and late last night I got another order for a necklace in a custom color, so I've got plenty of work on my plate. If by some stroke of luck those task go quickly and I get some quiet time I may revisit the video idea. I'm not holding out much hope though. I would like to get it done before I release the pattern which is being test tatted by one of the nicest tatters I know as we speak. I've still got a week and some change though, so no rush I guess. I never been this on top of things before, Usually I put things together at the last minute and everything is immediately out into the world. Holding onto things for a specific date is weird, but I digress.  Have a great Friday and lovely weekend all.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Well I started out on task yesterday. I finished the pair of barefoot sandals and it looked like I was going to get the slave bracelet listed, but then I got distracted. I don't know if it was the rainy weather after so much sun lately or what, but I went down an entirely other path.

That other path was writing up the pattern for the motif, the bracelet using it and the earring motif derived from it. My plan is to put it up for sale at the same time I release the pendant, International Tatting Day, April 1st. Of course writing it up, taking pictures, doodling on those pictures and putting the thing together reminded me why you will not be seeing a tatting book by me anytime soon. It took me all day to do all that and I still have to find someone to test tat it for me so I can do any needed editing before I can list it. All that for some really simple designs. There is just no way I have time to do that for the complex ones people keep asking for. Then there would be all the drama of proper layout and actually publishing which are all completely out of my realm of knowledge. So again I state, because people keep asking, there will be no pattern book from me in the near future. Maybe when my kids are grown, but that's a good decade or so away.

As you probably guessed, the pattern stuff was the only thing I did with the rest of my day. I should get back to the slave bracelet today and get it listed. I'm also playing with the idea of doing a short video tutorial on the lock stitch for the needle since the earring pattern uses that technique and I only recently learned how to do it myself, so I imagine there are plenty of people who haven't yet tackled that...or I could be the last person to try. That's certainly a possibility. Either way, it really depends on how the day goes. Videos are hard to do with a house full of loud kids and curious cats and me being a fairly lazy human. So I guess you'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out whether I continue with the focus or not. Right now I'm just crossing my fingers that I won't have to wait another full week for a sale, but onwards and upwards.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Necklace To Bracelet

It was another fairly productive day around here. Right after schooling I managed to keep myself on task again. I got pictures taken and the new necklace listed right away. I almost stalled on it because I haven't been feeling up to modeling for pictures, but hold the camera just right and you don't even really see me and so that's what I went with.

As soon as that was done I went ahead and got back to the new piece I'm playing with. As is often the case, this one was born from plating with the last piece and seeing where else it could be worn. It almost fit across my hand so I decided to muck with it until I could make it into probably the daintiest slave bracelet I'm made yet. This one actually closes with a lobster clasp instead of the usual hook because I wanted it to sit over the hand more and just at the base of the wrist.

The rest of the day was devoted to remaking the pair of barefoot sandals that sold. While all this work didn't result in more sales, I did stay pretty busy and I still have to finish those sandals today followed by getting the new bracelet listed. So there's another day of tasks right there. My last major project is also out the door this morning meaning I have nothing that needs doing for anyone else. It's a weird and slightly uncomfortable state for me, so I'm of course hoping for another large project to descend from the heavens. Barring that, the muses could grant me an idea for one myself.  I could also just continue working hard and focus on what's in front of me...yeah, I'm still holding out for divine intervention.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Muses Are Back

The power of positive thinking is strong. Or maybe it's the power of getting off your arse and focusing on the things you can control rather than dwelling on the things you can't. Either way, yesterday was a pretty good day.

Right after schooling, instead of sitting down to relax, I got the earrings and the bracelet photographed and ready to list. I got the earrings up first and saved the bracelet for later in the day. I also made sure that I was chattier online than I've been recently. I find when I'm a little low I stop posting as much which I'm pretty sure just adds to the cycle. So I was productive, then chatty and I received some inspiration from the muses and got some more creation out.

I looked at the prototypes I had created in search for the perfect pendant and earrings, placed them together and after some rearranging, I came up with this necklace. Now see, this is the sort of adaption I have come to expect from myself. I'm suppose to take something created many decades ago and warp it to my own uses. I felt so lazy when I decided to use the motif for the Tatting Day Pendant because I knew it wasn't all that different from it's original design and I'm certainly not the first person to use it either, but I just wasn't getting any creative inspiration. Now with the earrings and this necklace, I feel much better. I'm still using he basic motif for the Tatting Day event, but now I can write up the pattern and include the earrings and the bracelet. I'm going to hold onto the necklace here though.

After a day of creation, there's another bracelet design on the way as well, I was granted a sale. After a full week of nothing, I was overjoyed to get one. So today, I have a pair of barefoot sandals to remake and a new bracelet design to finish. Here's hoping another day of creative design, hard work and uncharacteristic optimism leads to more of the same for today.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Something New

While most of the weekend was spent on family adventuring, I did get a little tatting work done up. On Friday I turned the motif into a bracelet. Not a lot of effort required to do so since it's current picot enlightenment was fine for joining them together. Of course once it was done I posted a picture on the facebook page and then proceeded to do nothing with the design. I didn't play with it more, I didn't photograph and list it, I just let it lay. I'm fairly certain I can blame the full week of no sales for my malaise. I want to keep working, but I feel that lack of motivation heavily. You know the, 'Why bother, nobody cares. It's not like anybody is going to buy it' I can actually hear the voice of Eeyore in my head. Not dwelling on that though.

Most of the family adventuring was of the errand running sort, but we also managed a little yard work and some kite flying. The last two have left me pretty sore today, well mostly the yard work, but the kite flying did nicely work my arms and I'm also rocking a slight sunburn. Apparently wind does not stop the sun from beating down no matter how strong it is. When we were in for good last night I decided to just go ahead and make some more of the pendant motifs so I have some colors ready. Mostly this was because I finally finished the last crochet afghan and I have no more busy work tasks left and my hands need to keep moving. Anyway, while I was working on those, I had a moment of creativity. I saw something else in the design. Honestly it has been so long since I had any burst of creativity I almost didn't recognize it.

I saw this design hiding in the corner of the motif and with a little fiddling I was able to bring it out. Bonus, I got to use the lock chain in a design for the first time as it was the perfect element to keep the piece a one round design while maintaining the shape I liked. It'll make a perfect pair of earrings and my brain is even trying to see what else I can add this bit too.

So today I am going to try my hardest to get my rear in gear and list the bracelet and earrings. I'm going to try to stay positive and work on what else this design might be trying to become. I'm going to focus on the things I can control and try to ignore the things I cannot.

Friday, March 15, 2013

That'll Do

Well after yesterdays post I waited patiently for comments to see what I should do about the pendant and I did get a couple here and I posted my query on facebook and received some comments there as well. They all affirmed that the current motif would be just fine. While I think that it's just as likely those of you with alternative opinions simply chose not to share for fear of being perceived as mean, I'm going to just go with it. By the way, if wouldn't have upset me if you had thought I should keep working. I might have ignored you if I thought you were wrong or I was feeling lazy, but it wouldn't have upset me.

Unfortunately accepting the design as the one I'm going to use stopped me from working on really anything yesterday. I actually ended up working on the last of the crochet afghans instead. I mean I started to tat up a couple of things, but no muses, no motivation, no happiness with the lace coming off the needle.

I'm hoping for a bit of a turn around today. Sales have been better this month, but they are still unreliable and inconsistent and I haven't had one for days now. I need to keep focused on work and the shop desperately needs something new in it. So today I call on the Universe to send some inspiration, some sales, something amazing or interesting to get my rear in gear. Hopefully Monday I'll have something good to share.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I'm Trying

Well, I awoke to some ridiculous traffic in my shop this morning. No sales, but a crap ton of views. Turns out this treasury was featured on the front page around 1am eastern time. Not surprisingly I was not awake to get a screenshot of the front page, but here's the treasury since it is pretty.

Now that that is out of the way, let me back up to yesterday's progress. I managed to finish the pieces that were in queue and then I spent far too long trolling for inspiration for a new design. I had a few ideas flick through, but they turned out to be less practical than I had hoped. The issue is that if I'm going to offer the pendant at a nice cheap price, I need to be able to make it quickly with as little fuss as possible so I don't get overwhelmed.

I did start work on a modified antique motif. As it is here, it's pretty and simple and might just do the trick, though I feel like I'm cheating a little in not designing it from the ground up.

I did also play with it a little trying to come up with further modifications, but even though I really love the look of the beaded up one there on the right, it was a serious pain to add those beads and join those long picots, thus it failed the fuss test. There was much fuss. I suppose I still have time so I might again try to mine a different design for the tatting day pendant from the depths of my brain and if I manage to find one, this motif will make it's way into the shop, priced to accommodate the amount of fuss or in it's plainer incarnation. Of course if you think the basic version would make a great $5 pendant for the holiday and I'm just over thinking the whole thing, please let me know so I don't drive myself mad today. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


One of the drawbacks of having a nice queue full of tasks is how I basically put my head down and work without communicating in any way with the outside world. Sure, I occasionally come up for air, but it's usually to care for the children. I become basically invisible online and that usually means I also have nothing interesting to share here.

I spent almost the entire day in production mode getting pieces made and remade from yesterday's order. Good thing too because one piece that was suppose to be made wasn't and my remake of it turned out to be needed for the order. I generally have a pretty tight reign on my inventory, but every so often I hide something in the wrong box and then it just doesn't want to be found. Either that or the sock gnomes have expanded their theft ring to include lace.

In the evening I started giving more thought to the tatting day pendant and started to look through trending items to see if I could get any ideas for something truly new. Maybe it was too late in the day for my brain to work, but I was getting nothing except that apparently the ampersand is popular again. So for no particular reason I decided to make one of those. It was dark already so the picture is bad and I don't really see a good use for it, but I might list it as a pendant anyway since I did take the time to make it and it actually looks exactly like it's suppose to.

I still have one piece left in my queue to finish today and then, if my brain can successfully switch to creative mode, I'll focus on the potential new design. I want to have something to go fairly early  and I still haven't decided if I want to do the 'any color' listing with it and make them upon order or make up a bunch in advance in a single color. I suppose it all depends on the design I ultimately come up with, so I won't worry about that now. Here's hoping the muses visit today.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I finally bit the bullet and spent much of yesterday...doing taxes. Yes, numbers and forms and fond nostalgia from the 90's when I could still use tele-file and it took literally 15 minutes of my time. This is the point where I remind anyone out there thinking that selling some tatting would be a pleasant, nay easy way to make extra money, that there is so much more to it than you might be interested in doing. Taxes and licenses and so much more nonsense. It really is a damn good thing that I love doing this 50 weeks out of the year because the other two weeks are a huge bummer.

I spent the rest of my day finally finishing the lace maille necklace. It occurred to me that you may not know which necklace I've been yammering on about, so that's my excuse for sharing the picture again. Blog posts are better with pictures, right?

Toward the end of the evening I got myself a nice little order with a custom piece to make so I have a task on hand for today and then I get to remake the other pieces in the order likely giving me tasks into tomorrow as well. I'm feeling much better about March now that it's nearly half over.

Speaking of it almost being April...okay that was a labored segue, but that means that April 1st, also known as International Tatting Day is almost upon us. If you're just joining me, the proper celebration tradition is tatting in public and eating chocolate. I've tried to do a special limited edition pendant for the occasion that I offer for a very low cost to con more people into owning a little tatting. So I guess this whole paragraph was just my labored way of saying I'll be working on a new design for the occasion and if I can manage to come up with a good one, I'll offer it as a pattern as well, so wish me luck. I guess that gives me just a little more to do once I get the work in queue all done. It is nice to have tasks.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Time Change

I fear today's post is going to be just as boring as Friday's, not that I didn't do plenty over the weekend. It's just that it doesn't contain much tatting and there are no pictures and I'm bloody exhausted. The exhaustion stems from a combination of the time change and our perhaps less than wise idea to have friends over on Saturday night. Don't get me wrong it was a lovely time and quite needed, but when you go to bed as 2 becomes 3 and your cats wake you up two hours later to feed them, you tend to function poorly for a time. Why didn't I go back to bed? Well, I tried, but the cats weren't having that either so I think I got a total of 3, maybe 3 and a half hours of sleep.

Let me back up to Friday though for a minute. I got another project out in the mail and I spent most of the day working on remaking the lace maille necklace. After schooling I decided to try out the newer coupon codes from etsy where you can specify a dollar off amount for a minimum purchase price. I thought I'd give it a go  as a flash sale to hopefully stimulate sales, but it was a dud until I forgot to turn it off at bedtime. I woke up to one sale the next morning and it was enough to keep me focused again.

I worked on that small order and the lace maille necklace most of the weekend that wasn't spent socializing, attempting to fly kites with the family or being tired and I'm still not done with the necklace. I've got probably half of the motifs left to embellish with crystals. I'm hoping I can actually get that knocked out after schooling today, but it all really depends on how tired I am all day. It seems that using an incredible small, sharp needle to sew on tiny crystals is really a job for the alert, otherwise my fingers start to look like living pincushions. So here's to a relatively awake day and hopefully a much more productive and entertaining week ahead.

Friday, March 8, 2013


I spent the morning finishing up Josephine chains and most of the rest of the day remaking a mask. I could probably stop writing right there as that was truly the bulk of the day. Most of the masks I make take at least a full day to make. There are a couple that take longer, but only one I can finish and still have time to do more things and luckily that was the one I was working on yesterday.

It was pretty late in the afternoon when I finished so I was only able to get a few motifs made for the other piece in queue, my lace maille necklace. So I thought I'd take a picture of those to liven up what is obviously a very event free post.

I'll be working on this necklace likely all day today. The motifs are easy, but there are over two dozen of them to make and then I get to sew on the swarovski crystals. Finally I join them all together with jump rings. Last time I remade this I didn't have a picture of the whole configuration. I lacked an image of the part that goes around back so it took way too long to figure out how I did it the first time. This time I remembered to take a photo of the one going out to it's owner laid flat. You'd think I'd be more vigilant with photos since it's clear that I'll never start writing patterns out as I create them, but I'm not.

I'm hoping for a nice weekend with the family, some friends and maybe another sale, or idea, or project so my Monday post won't bore you to death like this one probably did.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Long Chains

I was having another of those, what should I do today, sort of days yesterday. That was, until the mailman brought me both my supply order, which game me something to organize and put away, and an envelope of beads that were destined to become one with strands of tatted chain.

So that's what I got up to yesterday, I tatted very long Josephine chains randomly dotted with beads, split rings and drips of beads. The thing about Josephine chains is the longer they get, the more frustrating they get. The thread begins to twist on both the needle and thread side. I spend countless moments standing to hang the work so that it spins free and countless more carefully pulling thread through and then de-tangling myself and the work when careful wasn't careful enough.

Something that seems so very simple and uncomplicated as a finished product can be entirely the opposite. I still have another length of this to finish and then it's headed to potentially be a small part of a piece of art much more complex and stunning than my lace.

I was so relived this morning to wake up to a sale...finally. Again, it's two bigger pieces so I have real tasks in queue and they are pieces I actually enjoy making as well, so it's a complete win-win for me. Once I finish up the lengths of Josephine chains, I'll get on these pieces that will need remaking and hopefully the happily working me will continue to attract some good luck. I'm ready for a nice upswing in everything.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Little Better

It was a lovely, sunny day yesterday and I had lunch plans with the in-laws so I was in a pretty good mood to start off the day. Though this resulted in very little tatting, it did result in me doing a few things I had been putting off. First off I finally shipped off a very special pair of ankle corsets. Why are they special? Well, the are headed to the Denver Museum of Art to be a permanent part of the educational display in the textile art studio opening later this Spring. I've been promised photos once the display is up, but if you live around there do stop by once it's open so I can live vicariously through you.

I also did play around with those foreign language patterns I mentioned yesterday and upon further inspection, it appears they may be Finnish, but I still have no clue as to their age. This is the first small motif I tried out where I first noticed the insanely inconsistent stitch counts. Honestly I'm surprised it looks anything like the photo.

Then I wanted to try out this really complex, but neat looking pattern. Since I couldn't read the pattern, I tried counting this one as well and then completely gave up. Instead I merely attempted to emulate the shapes and joins of the image. My first go at the bottom edge was a disaster, but I think I almost got it by the end. I have no plans for it though. It's big and the bottom chains are long and generally misbehaved. I still think it looks neat and it just now occurred to me that if you turn it the other way around it looks a bit like a crown that would be perfect in a Keep Calm image, you know, Keep Calm...and Tat On maybe. I have the oddest ideas while writing and now I totally want to make that for a shirt or something.

Anyway, the weather has turned bad today and the husband will be back from his conference this evening...No, I don't think those two events are related, but it does mean I don't think I'll get much done today. I am still suffering silence in the shop, but I should also get my recently order supplies in today so I might just get some backup pieces made. Yeah, I don't know what I'll get up to. Here's hoping the Universe sends some sales soon.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

No Plans

I fear it's settling in again, the no sales malaise. I really ought to stop thinking about it, but it's so ever present and it's affecting my ability to casually create and to buy things. It's mostly affecting my ability to buy things and that's just bothersome. You see what I did there, I attempted to make light of the issue thereby putting myself in a better mood about it. That usually only works when I communicate verbally with someone, but perhaps the act of writing, knowing someone will read it will have the same result.

I finished remaking the pieces that sold a few days ago. One was the back drop necklace and it take quite some time to put together. The tatting itself is fairly quick, when I don't make a mistake and have to redo the same section three times...which I did, but the chain making portion of the project is much longer. I also have the added challenge of getting it done without cat intervention as they enjoy loose chain and beads very much. I'm pausing on my other art project as I wait for some supplies.

After I got that done and listed again, I decided I would play with some patterns I found online in a vintage or antique pattern book. I don't know which as it's not in English. In fact I'm not even quite sure what language it's in. I couldn't read the patterns at all. I usually muddle through but I couldn't even determine where one written pattern began or ended and the worst bit was the very clear images where counting the stitches revealed so many stitch number mistakes that I couldn't figure out what the count was actually suppose to be. One ring would be 3-2-2-3-2-3 and the next seemingly identically ring would be 3-3-2-3-2-3-3 and nowhere on the written page could I find a similar stitch notation. It's like the pieces where constructed by a madwoman and eventually I made some stuff up myself with the photos as references and then didn't take any pictures. Maybe I'll do that today at least.

I have no clear tatting plans for the day. I have a dozen non-tatting things I probably should get to, but that malaise I mentioned wants a sacrifice of tatting in a halfhearted attempt to convince the Universe that we deserve a sale in the shop to keep us going. So I really have no idea what I'll get up to today. Maybe I'll create something new from scratch, that should satisfy the Universe.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cancelled Sale

If you remember on Friday, I was hoping all my plans would be interrupted by a sale or something else I would have to immediately attend to. My wish was granted but then immediately followed by a sale to the one country I cannot ship to, Italy. If you weren't aware Italy has one of the strictest sets of customs regulations I've run into, but the relevant part is you cannot send lace, handmade or otherwise. Like shoes and leather goods, which are also prohibited, they are protecting a domestic industry I suppose. Of course it meant I had to send apology messages to the customer, refund their payment, cancel the order and hope anger didn't rain down on me. It would be so much easier if I could just block a single country from purchasing, but that functionality does not exist and before you say, I could have just lied on the customs form and said it was something else, my luck would have the package inspected and subsequently confiscated costing me quite a chunk of money. Not to mention the potential fraud charge and its accompanying fines, better to just not risk it. The whole thing put me in a mood. Luckily I had the first order to deal with and it gave me plenty to do over the weekend.

Before I got to that, I did get the new earrings listed and I now also have the titanium ear posts in. I probably won't list any earrings specifically on those posts, but add instead I'll add a note to the existing listings that they are available should ones metal sensitivity warrant them. I know you've already seen them, but this is a much better picture and with some other color combinations I made up.

The husband has a conference to attend the first part of the week so I'm single parenting for a few days. This does mean my productivity will start to suffer as I get fewer moments of 'me' time. I do still have things to work on though. I'm playing with a long drippy chain for an art piece and I have a back drop necklace to get remade. I even had to bite the bullet and buy some supplies because even though sales are still glacier slow, the pieces I am selling need more beads and findings. I'm still hoping for an upswing in sales soon, but I've also got a few idea seeds growing in the back of my brain that may burst forth soon regardless. Either way it's looks like it's going to be an interesting week at the very least.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Finally, a fresh month. Last month was a disaster for sales and it wasn't so great for family drama or productivity either, so I am really looking forward to March. It won't let me down. It has unrealized potential for greatness. Right, March?

Well I ended February on the same sort of, barely a swing that the whole month lived on. Schooling and the teacher meeting ate up the entire morning so it wasn't until after lunch that I could do anything at all. The mail brought me the stainless steel ear posts so I set to work on some of the new swirl/pinwheel earrings. This is what I spent the rest of the day doing.

The colors don't show up very well on my phone camera, but we've got the browns, grays, teal and pale turquoise, and after this picture I did a red and black, and a pale yellow and light gray. I think that's enough examples so I will hopefully get a listing up for these today. They'll be a little more than the simple flower ones because they're on the better posts and the woven chains make it take a good deal longer. I mean they're still a fast project, but no quite as fast.

I'm hoping I get a good stretch of routine today so I can also get the art project finished and possibly photographed for approval before shipping. I also have another piece that needs to get shipped somewhere special, but I've been stalling because I have to use a different shipping company. Then I will focus on the newest arty request and get some more ideas into thread. Well that's the plan anyway and I'm kind of hoping the whole thing will be interrupted by sales I will need to deal with or amazing news or something equally interesting to give me prove that march isn't going to let me down.