Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This is the End

Another end of a year is here. The children are older and smarter. I'm fairly certain I'm just the same. It was a year of projects that didn't quite pan out and it ended with on a rather disappointing note. I suppose that's the best way for a year to end though. It gives you hope that the one upcoming can only be better. Unfortunately I am fully aware that it can, but I'll chose to the end the year thinking greatness is ahead.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/160810379/tatted-lace-collar-choker-necklace?Let's see, what did I actually accomplish this year. Well, there was that art project that I got paid for, but never heard if it was ever even displayed anywhere. Then I managed to create and list a new pattern for sale and I guess that went over fairly well. I can't think of any one piece that stands out, except for maybe my first completely original collar design, but I did design several new ones this year. I'm sure I'll think of other pieces I'm proud of as the day wears on, but it's early and this post is completely unplanned.

I think the highlight of the year for me was having a pair of my ankle corsets included in a museum show over the summer. I may not have made much money this year, but having something I made with my own two hands in the Denver Art Museum, well that feel pretty good. So maybe I will just dwell on that achievement today and block out all the disappointing.

Here's to a wonderful New Year ahead for all of us. May your thread never tangle, nor have one of those cut and tied sections in it that make me want to cut someone. May we all get frequent visits from the Muses and create new things for the world. Finally, here's to another year with the ever so slight chance for fame, wealth and glory. Look, I have to put that in here regardless of how silly it sounds. It could work one day...you never know.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Creature of Habit

Happy Monday all. I think we are about to get back to normal. The weekend was slightly more active than normal. More video game playing, Lego assembling and more shopping for things like storage. By Sunday I had put together two cube storage shelves and found a place for all the kids new games. I also managed to lure the children away from their new video games long enough to them Chess, adding another board game to their options.

There was no tatting over the weekend as I used any couch time I got to work on the newest crochet project. It's taking far longer than the knitting one, but I am halfway done now. That is I have one legwarmer made and I have yet to start the second. I decided I hated the way the pattern transitioned from foot to leg, so I rewrote the pattern. When I say rewrote, I don't mean I actually wrote it down as I changed it though. This means it'll take a little while to remember exactly what I did so that I can repeat it. Luckily it wasn't too long ago so I should be able to recall it and match the second to the first.

The kids are technically still on vacation for two and a half more weeks, but since the husband is back to work today, we're just going to get back to schoolwork too. It'll be a light load for them, but at least it'll feel like routine and we all need that back sooner rather than later.

Speaking of routine, as soon as I get the foot to leg crochet issue sussed out, I'm back to remaking thing for the shop. There aren't as many pieces missing as I would have liked, but there are still plenty that should get back into the shop. I figure getting back into production mode would be easier than trying to be creative again right off the bat. The rhythm of crochet is nice, but I am beginning to miss the meditative rhythm of tatting. So here's to a week of mostly routine for all the creatures of habit out there.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Almost There

Okay, we are still nowhere near normality around these parts. The husband wanted to hit the clearance shelves at one of the stores so we were up and out before the sun. The children got to witness first hand crazy in the holiday section as people grabbed past each other 6 bodies deep for heaven knows what. We strolled right past to the things we were there for and left within a half an hour. Then we were back out to the book store later to spend gift certificates. The book store was crazy people free. All this was followed by going out to lunch and concluded with a viewing of Pacific Rim, one of my Christmas presents, with the kids. In between there we played the first game of Monopoly with the kids. There were tears, but aren't there always.

Somehow around all those things I did get back to some tatting, though I didn't finish the custom order. I was just so bloody tired after days of cleaning and entertaining that I was actually tatting with my eyes closed for a spell. No, I'm not kidding, I really do that. I do have to open my eyes for the joins though I'm sure I practiced enough I could feel my way through those too.

So today I'll have to finish this necklace and get it in the post. There haven't been any other orders lately so I might work on some of the pieces that sold over the holidays, or I might work on the crochet tights that I bought yarn for. No, I really don't know if I will actually wear crochet tights, but making them sound like a bit of a challenge and I do enjoy one of those every once in a while. I also enjoy stepping back into the crafts that I don't get time to do much anymore. I would hate to forget how to do them. Thank goodness for muscle memory, it usually kicks right in. So here's to a nice, quiet weekend and back to a real normal by Monday.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Happy aftermath all. Yesterday went about as I expected. After the first round of gifts, it was finish
cleaning the house and start cooking. That was followed by a rather enormous gathering of family, loud raucous children, eating, running about, and wrapping paper flying. When they finally departed there were countless dishes and counters to clean, but then I was left with just my immediate family and my brother, who is staying with us, my new Tardis blanket and the Doctor Who special on television.

There was no tatting, nor knitting, but I ended the day completely exhausted. Today we're braving the shops again, then there are Lego kits to put together and new video games for the kids to play. I do have one custom order that came in on Christmas Eve that I need to get made. This is the reason I post a nice long lead time for orders, so I don't have to rush at a time like this. I'm certain to find something else to distract me from work again, but I really do love structure, so I'm going to at least start that custom order.

I hope everyone who celebrates had a lovely time and honestly, I'm just glad all the madness is almost over. This was a really bad holiday season for the shop and I'm glad to see the backside of it. Here's hoping it'll turn around next year.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry, Happy

Let me first start off by saying Merry Christmas to those of you that celebrate and a happy Wednesday to everyone else. I bet you're wondering why I'm bothering to write at all this morning. Well, it is a weekday and it is my deeply ingrained routine. Besides, the cats refuse to let me sleep in for more than a half an hour even on weekends, so I'm up and the rest of the household, save for the cats, still slumbers.

I'm afraid the only tatting I managed yesterday was another snowflake for a gift. The rest of the day was a ton of cleaning and the family trip to the dentist. Yes, I am aware going to the dentist for just a checkup on Christmas Eve is a little weird, but what else were we really doing? Nothing, but cleaning. We ended the day with a viewing of Scrooged followed by the cartoon version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. The youngest said the title was misleading as he didn't actually steal Christmas. She's awesome like that. She also lost on of her front teeth yesterday making her one tooth shy of a perfect holiday cliche. This also brought on several comical conversations regarding the meeting of Santa and the Tooth Fairy.

So there was yesterday and today will likely be a complete wash. There will be cooking and cleaning, then too many people and cleaning up after those people when they all shuffle off home. Then of course there's the Doctor Who special, winding down for the day and getting ready for normality to attempt to return on Thursday. I really do miss those days as a child when all I had to do for the holidays was show up. Those were simpler times. I guess it's time to get on with it all and again, I hope everyone just has a lovely day.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

More Warm Legs

Yesterday almost felt like a real vacation day, almost. We had a couple of errands to run, so we braved the shops. It honestly wasn't that bad out, save for in the parking lots where the worst of humanity is on full display with its lack of patience and epic rudeness. We survived though and came home to go on a walk and knit while the kids played video games. Sure, I had to do the laundry, but I saved all the cleaning for today. Perhaps not my best ides since we also have dental appointments today and there are still a bunch of little things I should get done, but we're here now and we'll make it work.

Speaking of knitting though, I finished the legwarmers that the oldest child wanted. The colors are a little brighter in real life, but they are quite similar to my own with the self striping yarn. She is so pleased with them that she slept in them. I hope I can still make her this happy when she becomes a teenager in a few more years, because with the yarn on sale, these cost all of maybe $4 and a couple of days worth of knitting time.

Oddly enough yesterday saw a few sales in the store. I really can't explain it, but maybe it's just the Universe messing with me. More probably it's folks who were finished shopping for others and decided to get a little something for themselves. Either way, I won't get around to restocking the store with anything that's sold until next week, at the earliest. I did get round to tatting up another snowflake gift though and I ought to do another today somewhere between all the cleaning. Really, today is looking like it's going to be much busier than I want it to. Oh, well, the best way out is always through.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter Projects

While there were a few significant events over the weekend, it was pretty lazy. Sales in the shop have completely dried up, but I was at least expecting it this time. Halfway through Friday I decided it was time to start the tatting vacation,  winter project. Every year when the people stop shopping, I return to the crafts from whence I came. Back in the days before tatting took over my life, I knitted, cross stitched, crocheted and drew. So when the shop goes quiet around Christmas, I look for something to make myself or the kids. This year, it's leg warmers. Okay, so the pattern called them stirrup socks, but I'm an ex-dancer and I grew up in the 80's, so I'm very familiar with leg warmers and these are those. I finished them on Sunday morning and then headed to Michael's for more yarn to make a pair for the oldest child. I should have those done today. Maybe I should have picked a longer winter project, but I'm certain I'll find something else to make soon.

In other weekend news, we attended our annual gathering of friends on the Solstice. This means I can show you the tatted gift that nearly kicked my butt last week. I might have mentioned that I like to make one of a kind gifts. For this one, I took one of my existing bracelet patterns and tatted it onto a strand of rhinestones. The pattern itself is extra tricky to work in one round, since one side has to be worked, well, backwards is the only way I can this to put it. The chain did not want to stay put and I managed to not notice when I made one join on the second side in the wrong space until I was finished. Then I had to back up and do that section again. Suffice it to say, I have no interest in making this one again without significant recompense, but isn't it unique and pretty? I even stiffened just the backside so it keeps it's shape better yet still looks like soft tatting on top.

The rest of the weekend was either knitting or playing with the early gifts the children received. Today marks the official start of vacation for the kids and the husband is off the week as well. We're hosting Christmas so we'll need to clean and the kids have promised to continue doing reading classes during their break so they don't get too lazy. While I'm not closing the shop or anything, there will likely be nothing new there for quite some time. While some shops do well right after the holiday with people spending their gift money, that has never been my experience. So I guess what I'm saying is, get used to odd craft posts until normality has been restored.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Free Motif Pattern

I was trying to fight my slow shop induced boredom and/or depression when I decided to work on the motif I used for some recent gifts. After some fiddling around I thought I'd turn them into a small gift for all of you. So without further ado, your free tatting pattern gift.

Four Or Five Motif

ds - double stitch
p - picot
rw - reverse work
sp - small picot

Four Point version in two rounds

Center: 4 rings

Ring: *3ds 1p 6ds 1p 6ds 1p 3ds close, do not rw
Repeat from * 3 times joining at first and last picots, cut and tie

Outer Round:

Ring: 6ds join to joining picot of center round 6ds 1sp 6ds 1p 6ds close rw

Chain: 2ds 1p 2ds join to top picot of center round ring 2ds 1p 2ds close do not rw

Split Ring: 6ds join to joining picot of center round 6ds / 6ds 1p 6ds close do not rw

Repeat chain and split rings around joining last chain to picot of first ring.

Five Point Version in two rounds

Center: 5 rings

All stitch counts are the same with just an extra ring.

Outer Round:

All stitch counts are the same with one extra repeat.

Notes: The five ring version will need to be either pressed or blocked to lay flat. I used size 10 thread and a size 5 needle for mine.

Both version can also be worked in one round by using a split ring of 3ds 1p 6ds / 3ds 1p 6ds as the last ring in the center round and starting the next round with a chain and working all rings in that round as split rings.

Like all my free patterns, I'd appreciate it if you would please use it for personal use, gift giving or off line sale only. I do hope that you like the gift and yes, I will try to let a few more of my patterns out into the world in the new year. Also, I just saw that this is my 1500th blog post. Yikes that's a lot of posts... thanks for reading them.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


There was schooling and an early morning run to the store to get things I don't want to have to go to the store to buy next week when everyone has lost there grip on sanity and common courtesy. Years in retail trained me to avoid shops the week of the holiday if at all possible. Though sadly, this year all the stores seem less crowded. At least that leaves me feeling a bit better about my own shop being so sadly slow, knowing that it is a universal trend not a personal shunning.

Anyway, I didn't make anything for the shop because I was working on a few gifts. Given our current lack of disposable funds I felt a real need to supplement the few gifts we bought with something. I only wish I could tat up something appropriate for some male friends as well, but I am at a loss for something that would be well received. The first piece I made I can't show you yet, but I can tell you that it was too clever for my own good and fought me into creation. I will make sure to takes some pictures of it though, so I can show you next week after it's made it to its new home.

Next up I made a couple of necklaces for some other gals. When I do gifts, I try to make them special so I tend to not just make something that's already in the shop. I made this purple one in size 10 thread, but I also made another in size 20 teal. The giftees don't know each other, so I felt okay using the same pattern. The design is actually the center of the necklace I called Quandary that I designed back in September. I remember loving the center and then not doing anything with it. This may be further revised and make it's way into the shop, but I don't know when.

I've got snowflake gifts to finish today and maybe a couple more jewelry gifts. I'm feeling a little foggy since I caught the cold the children were passing around. It's mostly a sore throat, but there's a certain extra level of tired that comes along with it as well, not to mention the token cold sore. I'm doing my best to destroy it because I have no interest in making time for illness. I'd make time for more orders, but not for a bloody cold.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

So Lazy

https://www.etsy.com/listing/173262673/black-and-silver-one-of-a-kind-tatted?I was super lazy yesterday. Sure I got schooling done and I listed the black necklace fairly quickly after, but then I just stopped doing much of anything. The black one is still in the shop by the way. In fact it made so little impact as far as feedback or views that I think that spiraled me into a state of laziness that was hard to pull out of.

After doing nothing for quite some time I finally pulled myself together and again asked for color suggestions. This led to me making a pendant with a gold filigree and teal thread. Of course you can't really tell the thread is teal because no matter how hard I tried, every camera changed the color of the thread to better match the turquoise stone. It was very frustrating. Luckily, this one did sell so I don't have to keep explaining that the color in the photo is definitely not the exact color of the piece. There was also no chain for this one as I don't keep any chain in gold on hand. Personally I don't much care for the color of gold and it's just too expensive to take a risk on anyway. Any gold toned bits I have on hand were from the grab bags I buy.

Oh, I almost forgot the other reason I was so lazy yesterday, the pile of cats. In case you can't tell, that's three cats on the right and one on the left. Every time I sat down, two or more would immediately take a place on around me. Sure, it was warm and cozy, buy I couldn't reach anything from this position.

I've got errands to run today along with schooling, so I'm not certain I will get round to any tatting at all. I'm having issues deciding on what piece of jewelry to make a few people for Christmas. I'm always afraid of disappointing folks with things they would never wear, but simply asking them to pick from the shop seems, I don't know, wrong somehow. I am running out of time though, so I might just have to bite the bullet, make a decision, and just live with that not happy looking thanks you get when you choose poorly.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Green and Pink and Black

Well there was no sales hurricane, but I did sell what I made yesterday and that's nothing to sneeze at. The first one for the day was another in green. When I do a second one off in the same color, I try to make sure that I do so in a completely different way. This one used a center bit I didn't even know I still had some of. I found some largish green glass beads and surprisingly, enough matching bead caps to give it a nice cohesive feel. Of course I cut out the tatting on this one at least three times before I got the design right with no mistakes, but it was worth it. This one sold so fast, it nearly gave me whiplash. I had just finished posting it on Facebook and twitter when I went back into the shop it was gone.

Clearly I couldn't sit on my laurels, so I went to work on one in pink.  I chose pink because someone suggested the color. Definitely not my go-to shade, but the stone I used was one that I had wanted to use for a while. I have no idea what it is, but it's lovely. I found some small pink glass beads to match and again the bead caps were found in matching sets. I don't usually use those from the grab bags, so I have quite a backlog of them. This one sold pretty quickly too and I was pretty burnt out after making them, so I stalled for a while, Tapped Out and Simpsons are my stall of choice lately.

I didn't stall for long though since I'm still pretty desperate for sales. The last one I made up for the day hasn't made it to etsy yet. By the time I finished there was no light anywhere for a decent photo. I did this one in black and it felt nice to be back in my comfort zone for a spell. It's got more glass beads and bead caps and like the green one, it fought me the whole time. I cut it apart three or four times. Sometimes it was because I had chosen the design poorly and sometimes it was because I messed up the round royally. Honestly I'm kinda shocked anything good came out of yesterday's tatting with the number of times I screwed up, but I am a determined little maker.

As per usual, the black one will get listed either this morning before schooling or after if I'm feeling lazy this morning. Then I'll decide whether I want to keep at this or not. I probably will because they're all that's selling as of late. At least they give me plenty of things to show you each day instead of the boring, remaking, posts. Well, here's to another creative day and maybe that hurricane as well.

Monday, December 16, 2013

More New

Let's see...it was a pretty long weekend full of all sorts of tasks. On Friday morning I finished up the purple necklace. It took another day, but it did sell. Then my mother-in-law, who was picking up the kids for a baking adventure, requested a couple of snowflakes. I thought about putting them off until next week when the shop is likely to be completely dead, but really it's been nearly dead all season, so I took the afternoon to make them and missed nothing in the shop.

Saturday morning, I was determined to get another piece made before we started our family adventuring. I went with burgundy again because the first one got so much attention. I actually have a couple more of the filigree flower I used on this one, so there might be a couple more in this basic family forthcoming. Anyway, it's listed and still available in the shop. Then we were off to Lowe's to build a train followed by the rest of the day at the most recent Hobbit movie. Seriously those movies are crazy long and we were still disappointed when it was over because we know there's more.

Sunday saw the kids again adventuring with their grandparents and cousins. They spent almost all day over there baking and decorating, so we came home and wrapped all the presents. I was going to make a snarky comment here about the husband, but I may have already mocked him enough on the subject, so I'll leave it be. We also managed to finish all the shopping save for a few last bits and the things I'm still making.

The weekend saw just a couple of sales in the shop and unfortunately I don't have high hopes for this week getting any better. It has certainly been a rough holiday so far, but I will keep tatting up as many new pieces as I can handle and cross my fingers that I'm wrong and a shopping hurricane is about to begin. Yep, that's what I need a shopping hurricane to come through the shop. I'm crossing my fingers for that now.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Burgundy and Purple

Yesterday was almost a repeat of the day before. I had a snowflake to finish in the morning with my coffee and then after schooling I remade my mustache necklace that had sold while I was teaching. Instead of doing the asymmetric piece like I thought I would, I opted to ask for color suggestions and dug through the mess of beads and findings match. It is much easier to match thread to beads, but eventually I found some that worked with the suggested burgundy thread.

This one was a pain in the neck to make though. I had tried a whole different tatted edge to begin with and it wasn't until it was done that I knew for sure that it didn't work. So I cut all the thread off and started again. I also added some larger glass beads the first time around and decided that they didn't work either and fell back on the old standard swarovski rounds. At least they're uniform. I'm starting to get really spoiled making these one of a kind pieces as they keep selling within hours of me listing them. It's kind of wonderful.

It was already getting late when I finally came up with a second one to start. I had the thread and the findings, but I only got this far in the making. I'll have to finish it up and get it listed today. I have a handful of the filigree pieces left that I used for the green piece, along with some other random ones, so I should be able to keep this up for a little while longer at least. Hopefully by the time I run out I will be burnt out from making them and ready to go back to production work and just remake things. For now though I am definitely enjoying the making and the selling. This week started pretty low, but it picked up. Hopefully there is still some momentum left because I can keep shipping for the holiday up until the 20th according to USPS and I don't want it to end yet.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Browns and Greens

https://www.etsy.com/listing/172653357/brass-and-mocha-brown-one-of-a-kind?The day started out pretty quiet. Right after schooling I went ahead and listed the mocha necklace. I was too warm (and lazy) in my layers of shirts to take the photos on myself, so for the first time ever I exploited child labor for modeling purposes. I did have to ensure her that her face was not going online. She is always hiding from being photographed for fear of Internet exposure. I usually have to promise that a picture won't go online to get her to smile. What a strange generation she is growing up in.

Anyway, I waited until after lunch to attempt another one of a kind piece. It takes me forever just to suss out the perfect bits and choose the right color of thread to compliment it. Never mind how many time I cut out a first attempt that wasn't quite right. This time I used evergreen thread with an antiqued silver finding and a green glass bead. There was a hole in the center so I tatted a bit there as well. I've had a few people of facebook ask for patterns for these pieces and well, they don't exist. I just wing it, making the whole piece up as I go and then I proceed to immediately forget exactly what I did. Since I usually only have one, maybe two similar findings, remembering is useless. Even if I have the same filigree, I won't have the same bead. I's better that way, makes the pieces special.

So the green one did sell, yay! The mocha one is still in the shop though. The evening was wrapped up with one other order and it contained the most recent asymmetric necklace I made. So I think today I might make another of those unless I stumble upon some inspiring findings again. I am definitely finding that focusing on making things is a much better way to spend the day when compared with the days of worrying if I'll sell enough. There's little chance of catching up with last year's sales at this point and I think I've accepted that and moved on. That doesn't mean I won't start the day hoping for another good one!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


First thing after schooling wrapped, I got the new asymmetric necklace listed. Once it was up, I just felt like it was time to dig through the grab bag supplies and see if i could come up with anything worth making. Since I had recently bought supplies, probably a mistake, I had a brand new grab bag to search through.

What emerged was a brass filigree piece and a mystery blue stone. I found just the right shade of thread, I think it's an old ball of flora I got for a custom order years ago. Sure there's not a lot of tatting on it, but I thought it looked just right. I listed it right away and it was sold in less than an hour. You can imagine how happy that made me especially given the current state of my shop.

I couldn't let the momentum go to waste so I dug through again for some more inspiring pieces. This time I came out with a diamond shaped filigree that I've used before and another mystery stone. I tried to match some of the colors in the stone with the mocha thread and then added some more chain pieces to give it some more interest.

While I did share this one, it was too late to get good pictures so I will get it listed today after schooling wraps. I was also fortunate to get two more orders before the evening was over, so I also have a couple of pieces that I can remake. I may keep doing more small one of a kind necklaces instead though. They give me something to immediately share online and the feedback makes me feel better about the slow shop. So even if yesterday was a fluke at least I have something positive to focus on. So, thanks to the Universe for the inspiration and sales yesterday,  let's go for a day two.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's Something Anyway

Yet another long day with no sales. I spent the first part of my tatting time on yet another snowflake and even though I still have a few more to make for gifts, I am getting quite sick of the monotony. So rather than dwell on the shop, I had to make something new. Granted it clearly did not distract me enough as it's all I seem to be writing about. I have never, not in all the years I've been selling online, went more than a day without a sale during December. Alright, I'm done, no more whining today...at least not in writing, back to tatting.

I decided to use some of the smaller rings I have on hand and make another one off necklace. I ended up with a couple more rings after this point and it's actually sideways int he picture, but you get the idea. I'll get the chains on it after schooling and get it listed. I doubt it will make much difference in the shop, but it certainly did wonders for my focus. It took just enough creativity to distract me for  small while anyway.

After that I imagine I'll get back to the snowflakes unless I get any other ideas. We've been having some winter ant invasions in the house, so I might have to fight on the front lines for a while. They're in the walls again, so we just never know where they're going to pop out of next. It's like whack-a-mole, except there are thousands of them.

So here's to a nice creative day, free of ants and hopefully full of sales.

Monday, December 9, 2013


While I had a fine family weekend with the usual errands and visiting, I also had to accept the harsh truth that as far as business goes, this year is the worst ever. No, now I'm not being dramatic, I made the mistake of checking the stats against the last few years and this December has already done only a quarter of the sales I did in the same time last year and down even further from the year before. I suppose I could jump on the bandwagon and just blame changes at Etsy for the downturn, but I know it's always much more complex than that. So I apologize in advance as I'm likely to use this sounding board to evaluate what to do about all this.

I know you'd much rather come here to see what I'm tatting and not hear me complain about selling it, but the two are inextricably connected. I can't make new pieces if I haven't sold older ones and made money enough to justify spending more on thread and other supplies. I'm currently making more snowflakes as gifts to round out the paltry ones we've been able to buy, but after that I'm relying on the shop to give me projects to do. I can't say I've seriously contemplated shutting down, but I have wondered how much worse it will have to get before I do have those thoughts. So, again my apologies for my 'woe is me' attitude that may continue for a while.

I will try to keep busy and make things as I can't really live with idle hands anyway. I have plenty of other tasks with the children and schooling at least for the next two weeks. I am of course hoping that I am being premature and everything will pick right up, but after a weekend with no sales in December it doesn't seem very likely. So let me leave you with cats attempting to either eat one another's heads or clean each other, I can never tell which, and hope for the best. Oh, and if you want to shop to help or share with friends who do, you can sill use the code, 'FBFreeship' at checkout for free shipping.

Friday, December 6, 2013


Another quiet day and quiet days in November are odd and a bit uncomfortable. I managed to convince myself to remake a couple of pieces rather than focus on the silence, but I'm really no good at that. So after perhaps being influenced by blog posts, I decided to go ahead and make some black snowflakes. I went where I always go to find snowflake patterns, Jane's page. Two years ago I went on a Flurry snowflake kick and made them for everyone I know. Last year I designed my own ornament and made those, but I suppose I'm feeling lazy, so instead of designing, I'm making snowflakes again.

I only managed to finish one and I was a little unhappy with the split chain section because my split chain skills are sad, though I suppose you can't really see it in the picture. It took me a good 10 minutes before I even remembered how to make one. So when I started the second one, I decided to climb out of the row with a split ring instead and I'm already much happier with the result.

In case you're wondering this is Jane's Snowflake2004 pattern. I'm likely to fall back on making these during these quiet times. At least it gives me something to do that a couple of people will appreciate. Of course I'd prefer filling orders, but there's really nothing for it. My hands must stay busy, so I'll just keep on tatting.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Yesterday was unfortunately, the opposite of the day before. It was quiet, too quiet, and once I had finally finished the custom order I had in queue, I just couldn't convince myself to do any more tatting. There are still a few pieces I haven't yet remade, but I just kept sitting around waiting for an order that never came. Well, that's not exactly true. I did fill up quite a lot of time with dishes and laundry and that sort of nonsense, so I suppose I was technically busy, just not the busy I like.

The order I worked on was a pair of barefoot sandals in dark Iris purple. It's actually much darker than the picture would suggest, but since I did take a picture in an effort to document, I thought I might as well post it. Wow, I'm even sounding a bit too snarky to myself this morning. I blame it on the cold. Sure, our cold doesn't even touch the cold of even the East coast, but for us, it has been ridiculously cold, especially overnight the last two days. I don't really do well with the cold. I much prefer hot, or nice and warm.

I have nothing in my order queue at all and so I must try to convince myself to either remake the few things that need it or make something new today. I can't let myself get moody, I've got to stay focused. In case you're wondering, yes I do sometimes use this blog as a pep talk to myself and it occasionally does the trick. So here I go, off to the day. Here's hoping for an amazing one.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Busy, Busy

Well, I have to say that Karma was quite kind to me yesterday. Shortly after schooling wrapped and I started wondering what to do with myself, someone bought a nice big necklace. That gave me something to begin remaking. Then, just as I finished that, I received another small order giving me something else to remake. In fact the whole day was like that. One task completed, one more task added. It was wonderful.

I spent some time drilling holes in all the elytra I had one hand because I had a pair of earrings to remake. I ordered all the supplies I had been stalling on. My supply of clasps, hooks, and jump rings was getting dangerously thin. I also ordered more stickers for my packages. I felt like I was really getting business things done for the first time in a long time.

Right after dinner, I got one last order for the day and it was a custom pair of barefoot sandals. That gave me something to start the day with today. I'm still feeling a bit uneasy about sales, but this time it's because I spent so much money on supplies yesterday. Here's hoping that everything stays this busy or busier for the rest of the season. I much prefer overworked and tired to bored and stressed.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Well, it was a one step forward, two steps back sort of day. After schooling I went straight to work on the custom pieces for the order I had gotten Monday evening. I was busily tatting away on some wonderfully colorful pieces including a two color version of the dream catcher when I got the dreaded convo at etsy...a package that hadn't arrived.

Aarrggghhh...I hate missing packages. Sometimes the tracking on a package leads me to believe that it is just taking it's own sweet time, but this one looked a lot more like it had been lost or stolen shortly after it was dropped at the post office. Of course it was an International package and it was suppose to be a Christmas gift and to top it all off, everything in the order was a custom piece. This meant I didn't have any of it made.

So I hurriedly finished up the custom order and followed that up by working on the missing package. The cutoff date for shipping first class to Europe isn't until the 9th, but with so many things that can hold up a package, I didn't want to take any chances. By the evening, I was just wiped out, but I managed to finish all the pieces and I will be able to get everything out in the mail today.

I still have a couple of small things to remake for the shop, but I'm hoping that karma rewards me for my swiftness with some more orders. That would really make up for the crazy day I just had, well that and no more lost packages ever would be great too.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Post Holiday

So the rest of the weekend...it was long and occasionally lazy and honestly I'm glad to be back to a nice set schedule today. The sale in the shop did okay, though it couldn't pull me out of this year's rut. I got one last sale last night with some custom pieces in it, so at least I have plenty to do today.

On Friday, we did very little throughout most of the day. After working in retail for years, I avoid all shopping on Black Friday like the plague. That evening we did have a fun Thanksgiving 2.0 at our friend's home. Even the children had a fine time and didn't mind that we stayed out far later than they are used to.

We were mostly hermits on Saturday, only venturing out to the comic book store. We did pull out and assemble the tree, but it didn't get decorated until Sunday evening. Sunday, now that was a long one. We were at the in-law's, my sister's house and then my mother's house. I think that's enough family for a couple of weeks.

As you probably guessed, I didn't get too much tatting done, save for a special ordered white tiara that I should get in the mail today. I'm hoping that my coupon code sale at least jump started the shop into busy mode. It's really not a very long time that people will shop online. They fear things not arriving on time, so they seem to stop earlier than they really need to. Thank you to everyone who did shop over the last week and to everyone planning to do so soon. There is an active code for free shipping that you can use. Input the code FBFreeship for free worldwide shipping in my shop if you do pop by. Alright then, it's off to start the week, here's to a great one.