Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekend recap

Most of the weekend was spent on family adventuring and video game playing. I don't think I picked up a needle once, nor did I get the tiny earrings listed int he shop. I think that was partly because of what happened early Friday morning.

We were out and about early to pick up the afore mentioned video games when I was contacted by several means by a photographer looking to use my masks for a photo shoot this week. If you've been around these parts for a while you know this has happened before and I've had quite the mixed bag of results with the experiences. They rage from lost packages and never used pieces, to actually getting my name in fashion magazines. As you might imagine it's made me a little gun shy. I went ahead and shipped off a large selection of masks to New York though and they appear to have moved quickly toward their destination, yes I checked. I still need everybody to cross their fingers for me that they do arrive safely, get used for amazing photographs that end up in a magazine and then return safely back to me.

Today, I have babysitting of nieces and hopefully get a little time to list those earrings. That's about all that's on tap though. Well that and worrying about everything I wrote in the last paragraph. So here's to a great week and since I spent my own money to ship masks across the country, I could use a week of constant sales too. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tiny Motifs

Rather than spend time trying to figure out the larger pieces I'm making with the motif, I spent the day working on the small one. Initially I was going to bead the long picots, but I decided they look better in black as part of the structural design, if that makes sense. So instead I opted for a standard, bead the picots, plan.

A couple of folk commented that the beads look a bit cluttered, but honestly I really like that aspect. You know how rarely I use beads, so I guess when I do I like them to really become an element all their own.  As you might have guessed, I then dig through all my supplies to find every color of bead I owned. Joining the last twisted picot with the beads there is slightly more fiddly, but it was worth it.
I've got a listing up in the etsy shop for the pendant now. All the bead options are in one listing.  It's nice and small and I plan on getting a listing up for matching earrings soon, maybe today, or sometime this weekend anyway. Then maybe I'll get back to the larger pieces. Today is the husband's birthday, so it's he has the day off and the plan for the day is all his. The rest of the weekend is pretty plan-less and after all the guests this week, I might just want to enjoy the silence.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Still Working

It was almost back to normal yesterday. We still all felt a little off I think, so instead of starting back into our summer routine, I just let the kids run a bit wild. I'm hoping we can settle back into it today, but that might not be wise either since the husband is off work tomorrow and that will just tilt it out of whack again. Okay, I guess we'll save routine until Monday and call the whole week a wash.

I did get some tatting in amongst all the cleaning though. Initially I was just going to throw the three motifs on a chain and call it a necklace, but I decided to make it more complex. This picture here is the first attempt at that complexity, adding a triangle to the sides. However, I miscalculated the adjustments needed and it ended up a bit big and not quite right.

This is the second attempt on the left and as you might guess, this is the one I'm going to stick with. I really like the shape I got here. Now the bigger questions start to fly. Do I just hang this on a chain, or do I keep working more squares to make it a thick choker? I'm also looking at it as the base of a slave bracelet. I thought regular bracelet at first, but the point would keep flipping up while being worn and finger loop would solve that. Then there's the question of what else I can do with it?

So I suppose today I shall contemplate all these questions as well as work with the tiny pendant idea made from just the first round. At least I have plenty of things to think about today even if I don't have my precious routine back.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

More Motifs

The house is back to normal this morning as all our quests, also known as my brothers and sister-in-law have gone home. They were in town for my grandmother's burial yesterday which I did not attend. I'm sure that raises a few questions, but let's just say I'm fine and it's a long, boring story about destroyed and nonexistent relationships that's probably familiar to a lot of people. I did however love having my family back in town even though it destroyed my routine for a few days.

I did get some tatting in yesterday though. I made some changes to the motif doodle I did last week. I added some twisted picots both inside the design and for joining it to another. I managed to get three put together in a 'V' shape. It looks like it has the potential to be an interesting necklace, or bracelet, or any number of things. I love the way that the picots give it more internal complexity.

I even think that I might use the center part as a stand alone piece. With those twisted picots, I think it has just enough character to be a small pendant or earring. I might even go crazy and add some beads or dangles to it and see what that looks like.

I also have yet another day of cleaning and laundry ahead of me. I always feel weird doing things like laundry with guests in the house so it's piled up on me. Hopefully I can balance the creative with the utilitarian and have a nice productive day. If nothing else, at least we'll have our routine back.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Unexpectedly, yesterday morning I got another response in the drama I've been lamenting about recently. They relented and apologized. Honestly I did not see that coming, but I am surely glad that it did. I know it will only be a matter of time before something else like this happens again, but I am just so relived that this one came to a amicable conclusion. Big upside for you, no more listening to me complain about it!'m afraid I didn't do much else except work on the ankle corsets that I needed to remake. Aside from that, I spent most of the day just hanging out with my brothers and sister-in-law with the kids. So I didn't play with the new motif and I didn't really do much of anything else. It's actually pretty surprising that I managed to finish the ankle corsets at all, but I was determined.

Since those are done and I didn't sell anything yesterday, I'm certain to get round to the motif today. I'm still trying to work out the best way to join two of them so that they are sturdy. I'm not certain what I am going to join them into quite yet, but it seems like the thing to do. So here's to a productive day of problem solving and knot making.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekend Recap

We had quite the whirlwind weekend around here. My house is currently full of siblings and yesterday evening we had most of the family over. I was pretty much completely focused on getting the house ready for guests and now, with spending time with them since we don't see them very often.

In tatting news, I was told over the weekend, as part of one of my, 'please don't sell things made with my patterns'  dramas, that I could be sued/fined for making a legal claim. Now, I don't know how true that is, particularly since I don't think I actually make a legal claim, but a request,. It did however,  put me in another mood. I don't think it unreasonable to allow someone who created something and shares it freely to help spread the art of tatting to simply request that they not make a profit with the free pattern. At that point I am simply hoping that people will be kind enough to respect that request. I definitely could never afford to sue someone. I was linked to a site seemingly made for ebay sellers who are being contacted by major sewing pattern companies to stop selling garments made with their patterns. The site seems to dispute all legal claims those companies have over the products made with them or with licensed fabric. I tried to explain the major difference here is I am not a large corporation trying to steamroll the little guy. I am the little guy too. Anyway, I don't think anyone changed their mind on the subject, but I know I'm a already more apprehensive about future pattern sharing.

In better news, I did sell a couple of pieces from the shop over the weekend. That not only made my weekend much better, but gives me some tatting tasks today and I am definitely looking forward to some hard work. I also played with the last doodle motif a bit, but there is much more work to be done with it. If I finished remaking, I'll get back to that. So, here's to a drama free week where no one mentions legal action in a threatening way.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Done and Doodled

Ug, I don't want to start a day arguing. I asked someone to please not sell something made with my pattern. Instead I got a 'try and stop me', sort of response. She's right, without applying for something like a design patent, I have no legal recourse. Honestly, I just think it's rude to use a free pattern to sell something with it when the designer has asked you not to. Sure, I can't make you, but I can lose all respect for you and never be kind again. It was also pointed out that 'other' designers are fine with it and 'understand' copyright law. Still I know 'others' who are far worse than I and some with a litigious nature. I don't think it's going to take many more of these encounters for me to stop sharing patterns at all. Maybe I'm being melodramatic, I did just wake up to it. Yeah, I'm not going to bother responding, no one is changing anyone else's mind here.

Onto other things then. I did list the last few color combinations in the chain earrings. It ended up being quite a little rainbow of earrings. I think I'm also done with the chains for a while. The technique is really rough on my fingers.

After I listed the last of these, I doodled a bit. I'm not sure where I was going with this, but I think it's cute and I might try to grow it into something or use it as building block to make something bigger. If I was into that sort of things, I'd say it would make a nice basis for a place mat or table cloth. That's not really my thing though. My thing is taking patterns designed for those things decades ago and turning them into something else entirely.

Well, I think I've written enough to let the morning communications roll odd my back...for now. I've got guests coming, like I thought, over the weekend. That means a little more cleaning is left for me to do today. Hopefully something noteworthy will occur over the weekend so I can greet you on Monday without being whiny. That would be excellent.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

More Colors

This teaching the kids crafts business is taking up quite a lot of my morning. Yes, I suppose that was the intent, but man I feel like I'm getting nothing done between that and cleaning. I know, what's up with all the cleaning? Well, we will likely have house guests next week and there is a big difference between house clean enough to pass a brief visit and clean enough to let someone sleep here. I know it really doesn't matter, but I suppose I use it as a motivation to 'need' to clean things that I don't really ever want to.

I did get some more ombré earrings made up. I'm not overly keen on the yellow/orange ones, but I had the colors, so I figured I'd make them up anyway. I didn't get any of them listed partly because I got an afternoon headache. In fact I woke up with it this morning as well.

I will try to get these listed in the shop and then I think I need to come up with another new idea to get some attention in my etsy shop. If the general quiet wasn't bad enough, this is the second day in a row that I've had to send a 'please don't sell pieces with my patterns online' message. I hate sending them, but I need to make sure people know that I'm serious when I add that information to my patterns. It's hard enough getting customers without competing with my own designs especially when they haven't even bothered to mention that they were using someone else's design. So to wrap up, if you're new here, please do tat the patterns I have posted for free or am selling at my shop. Please do not sell the finished works online. Make them for yourself, as gifts, or sell them locally, and always remember to credit designers.

Alright, rant over. Here's to a productive day ahead. If nothing else I'm sure the child will make some tatting progress and that's a success I can claim.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Well, what an interesting day I had. You might think that as a homeschooling parent, summer would pose no additional challenge for me. This of course, is not true. After months of having a morning prepared for me, I am dangling over the edge with two increasingly bored children. So we've taken up yoga and tai chi in the mornings and they asked me to teach them to tat. That last thing I attempted yesterday.

The oldest child took to it just fine, after a few false starts, but the youngest ended up in a ball of frustration. So I tried a couple of different crafts with her until something made her happy. She landed on loom knitting. I think that the movements of tatting were just too complex for her to get right away and like me, if she isn't immediately good at something she's likely to give up on it forever. I figured shifting gears quickly lets her come back to it when she's ready.

So as you can imagine with all this teaching and some cleaning, it took me some time to get back to the tatted chain earrings. I did get four pairs photographed and listed and I managed to get one more pair in blues made. I still have some threads set aside for a brown version, so I'll make that up today. I also sold one pair! Yes, I'm excited about that. It means I have a purple pair to remake as well and even better, they were sold with a necklace, so I have that in queue to remake as well. Of course I'll have to fit that around the girls crafting and more cleaning, but it's great that they've got something else to do with their summer.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Yesterday started out one of my favorite ways, with a sale in my etsy shop. It wasn't anything huge, but it gave me a purpose for the day. It was a pair of my tatted chain earrings that I call The Twenty. So I spent some of my morning remaking a pair for the shop. Of course that was in between the cleaning, laundry and dishes of the morning. When I was done I had an idea that solved my 'tatting without running out of thread' problem that I mentioned yesterday.

I decided to make colored chain earrings. In fact I made three pairs because I was having a good time.  I originally used this technique to make earrings, necklaces and bracelets with them back in early 2012. I think I made them after I played with chainmaille tatting and managed a scarf with it, but I digress.

I still have a couple of colorways I want to do, blues, pinks and browns. I'm not a huge fan of the ombré trend, but I love how these turned out and it lets me use my stash of colors without too much black. So  that's what I'll get up to today. I'll do the other colorways I can find and then get them listed in the shop and hope that other people like it enough to buy them. Now I'm wondering if I should do the bracelets or necklaces this way as well? At least I have something in the queue to get up to right?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekend Recap was another weekend of no tatting I'm afraid, but I did manage a little on Friday that I can share. When I say little, what I really mean is, just more of the same. I made up some matching earrings for the Woven Rose necklace. Though I did actually get them photographed and listed as well and I suppose that means I was really working on Friday. That's when it all stopped though.

The rest of the weekend was pretty much just family adventuring. With things like grocery runs on Saturday and of course with Father's Day on Sunday, there was movie going and a family get together. My own father is...well, a long story that's less than happy that no one really wants to hear, so it was all about the husband and father-in-law. Luckily, the husband is a good father and we had a nice day.

I am getting a bit worried about the lack of sales in the shop again, though I'm trying not to complain about it too much. Instead we are seriously readjusting our spending to accommodate my much lower income. Hopefully I'll come up with a 'best selling' sort of piece soon or something equally as awesome will happen because I can't afford to buy new supplies without selling more pieces and no new supplies means that I have to stop tatting things for fear of running out of thread. Or at least the thread I most often use. The less used colors will probably be part of the stash forever. Sorry, I'm bordering on being whiny, so I'll stop for now, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Necklace

I had an idea early in the morning. When it first formed, it was quite elaborate and as is usually the case, reality scaled it back down to doable. It started, as most have recently, with the Woven Rose motif. Of course it was pointed out that it looks a bit more like a chrysanthemum than a rose, but since I require spell check to get that word to come out of my keyboard correctly, I think I'll stick with the rose, even if they are probably right. I decided to use three colors again. These are the medium and dark charcoal Lizbeth shades with a black outline.

I added the smaller version of the motif to the outside to start forming the necklace. After two on each side, I decided that continuing in this manner would take days, so I opted to finish the piece with metal chains and an adjustable clasp. Of course you can't see any of that in the quick photo I took yesterday upon finishing. Hopefully I'll summon the energy to get it properly photographed and listed today. I'm not feeling very photogenic lately, so there is definitely a chance that I'll procrastinate. There doesn't seem to be a big scramble for the piece either, so I guess it really won't matter if it takes a couple of days to get into the shop. Ah, the lazy is hitting early today.

I don't have any orders to work on today either, so I'm not sure what I'm going to use this last day of my self imposed vacation for. I wanted to give the kids at least one week of laxly supervised mischief, but I think it's me that needs the schedule to function. Well, okay, they need it as well, but I am bad at being idle. Next week should be more organized at the very least. Yep, looking forward to it.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Yesterday was a a complete wash tatting wise. The only thing I did was take a picture of the Woven Rose motif in colors and post it to share. I had already decided that I wasn't going to list it in the shop. It was just far too colorful and I figured it would never sell. Just in case though, I posted that if anyone wanted it, they could make me an offer. I didn't think anyone would, but lo and behold, it is going off to a new home today. I suppose I forget that not everyone is allergic to wearing too much color like I am. I'm still not going to make one like it for the shop, too many color possibilities to ever list properly, but do message me if you want a three color woven rose.

Other than that though, all I did was go out with the kids. We went and saw Maleficent and they went swimming at the in-laws house while I sat there doing nothing much. Only two more lazy days left in the week. I've already decided that next week our new summer schedule will kick in. It will include exercise for the kids, some sort of educational project and then I will get back to working the afternoon away. Maybe by then I'll have been inspired to actually make something new. If not, I just dig into the old catalog and bring back something old in a new way.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Grays managed to do almost nothing yesterday save for the ongoing battle with the ants for ownership of the house. Their numbers appear to be dwindling so I'm hoping I did find their point of ingress and the ones left are merely those left in the walls. With such a long, hot summer ahead, this won't be the last war though.

Well, I did get a few tatting things done during the day. I had an order of earrings that needed to be made in a medium charcoal gray, one of my favorite colors that isn't black. Every time I share these, someone asks for the pattern. The problem with that is, I don't want to share patterns that are worked around certain hardware like ear posts or ring bases because size matters with the design. Plus these contain my somewhat strange method of attachment that is kinda hard to explain through writing and pictures.I guess what I'm trying to say is, it is terribly unlikely that I will be doing so anytime soon.

The only other things I tatted were a couple of Woven Rose motifs in a couple of different thread configurations. This one was done in the Lizbeth Twirlz thread that is currently only available in size 20 so it's smaller than my usual work. Threading this stuff after working with it for awhile is also a little fiddly, but I do love the way it looks. I also made one with a yellow and salmon center and an azalea pink outer layer in n attempt at making it into a flower. Of course I did forget to get a picture of that one. I was starting to get a case of the malaise at this point in the day. I think it might have been a combination of the heat, something I ate and the generally lack of anything exciting to make. I really miss the shop being even a little busy. I'm afraid today will be even more malaise inducing unless something unexpected happens, so here's to the unexpected.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Oh, gracious how I slept in. Okay, Okay, I know it's still ridiculously early, but I forgot to turn my alarm back on after our vacation. The best part though, is I think we us gone for a few days, the cat's routine was disrupted as well, as they didn't attempt to wake me either. I suppose I shouldn't get used to it though, I'll remember the alarm tonight and the cats will take all of a day to readjust. Then it's back to the time just before the crack of dawn.

I did get the cat ears tatted up yesterday, but you've seen plenty of pictures of those. I was also feeling pretty good because I sold a few patterns yesterday as well as a pair of custom earrings. Sure, there's not a ton of money represented there, but now I have something to make today and honestly, I just feel pretty good whenever multiple sales occur in a day.

So, I'm going to try to get back to a routine today and get those earring made up. I figure I'll let the kids be rudderless for the week and then I'll start planning up their days again. I could use a little rudderless too, so aside from the earrings, I'm not going to plan anything else for me either. Here's hoping for more sales and a relaxing day ahead.

Monday, June 9, 2014

I'm Back

I'm back. We had a lovely time down south. We were there with my in-laws for a Military reunion.
While that has made for some interestingly awkward moments for ourselves and the kids, it is mostly a good time in a nice place. I got to visit my brother and sister-in-law who live there in San Diego and we took in the Zoo and the Midway while we were there. It was positively exhausting. Of course we got home to cat messes, full out ant war, laundry, and 105º weather (108º today). I would very much like to go back to 70º's and the beautiful green foliage, but I'm back now.

I didn't pull out my tatting at all during the trip. I guess I was really taking a vacation from my usual. I should have done some in the 7-8 hour car rides, but I was either watching the beautiful world go by or falling asleep after miles of nothing. So today, I do have a set of cat ears to tat up. It was the only thing I sold while I was gone. I had, of course, hoped I would sell lots of things while I was gone to make up for the money we had to spend, but no.

Today the husband is still off work, so I'll try to get some things tatted, but I don't have much faith that anything of consequence will get done. Then tomorrow it's to the business of getting back to normal and finding our new summer groove. Maybe I'll sell lots of things today and mek up for the money we spent. What, I can hope can't I?

Friday, June 6, 2014

San Diego

I'm off for a few days to lovely San Diego. The tatting needles have been put away, though I did pack them...just in case. Mostly we're just enjoying the weather while our own zip code swelters. Since typing a blog post on my phone is, well, less than fun, I'll leave you now and enjoy your own weekends. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I'm Awake

Alright, I know I said I might not write today, but the husband rose at a super, crazy, early hour and I couldn't manage to stay in bed with the cats awake and the lights on. That gives me plenty of time to write a little nonsense for you.

Yesterday was as busy as I thought it would be. The kids schooling was finished and then I began the task of getting us all packed. I'm fairly certain that despite my epic efforts, something will be left behind that someone thinks is vital, but them's the breaks right?

The rest of my day was spent on getting a bracelet made in a custom color so the poor customer wouldn't have to wait until I got home for it. Of course it is in one of the blues, ocean teal, that my phone camera apparently does not see. It always looks like a regular blue, so I play with photo filters and still never find the right shade. Oh, well. It is done and in the mail now and so am I, not in the mail, but done. Here's to a relatively stress free trip and an un-destroyed house when we return.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Well That Worked

I'm not a huge fan of the Facebook. I'm there because it was sold as a good place to grow connections. I don't leave because despite how increasing useless it has become with them sending my posts to the smallest percentage of followers possible, there are great, supportive people there. It also occurred to me the my 'fan' page has many new tatters following it. So I used the platform to discuss the recent and not so recent 'copytatting' issues. The best part, besides the productive conversation, was the post was shared 13 times. Now, that might not seem like much, but my posts are rarely shared and this just means that more people I don't even know can understand how that behavior can hurt people. Plus I made a silly graphic for it and I was pretty proud of it. In fact it might end up as a permanent part of my sidebar. You are all free to use it as well...if you want.
While all that was going on I managed to finally get a Woven Rose motif/pendant listed in the shop and one of my very lovely return customers picked one up in Raspberry pink. As much as I personally prefer everything in black, you can really see the woven chains when the piece is in color and it looks so much more intricate.

I listed the pendant as a 'choose your color' listing, so you can get it in any color thread I have. I am also curious how the piece would look in multiple colors. Right now I'm doing the outer rows as one with a split chain, but technically it could be easily done in four rows and thus four colors. I'd try it out today, but I woke up to a custom order for a bracelet.

We're headed to San Diego for a few days starting tomorrow, so that mean no time for experimentation right now. I only have time to do the custom order, pack, set up everything for the cat sitter, my mother and/or brother, clean up, and finish the last day of schooling. It is going to be a long day and if you don't hear from in the next two, have a lovely few days yourselves.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Not Again

So I was going to start off by writing about what I tatted yesterday, but I woke up to an ant invasion in the pantry, now quelled, and a message on Facebook that put me in a bad mood. While I couldn't find the group through searching, I was informed of a tatting group where the owner posts pictures that don't belong to her and apparently recruits other tatters to make the pieces for her. Again, I've no direct knowledge, but I was shown a screen cap where at least one of my pieces was included. Honestly it's probably a good thing I was unable to find the group, or I'd be much more livid this morning. I really don't want to join the ranks of designers that stop working because of this sort of nonsense, but I completely understand where they're coming from. I truly don't understand why anyone thinks this is honest or good behavior. If you are reading this, just know that I don't find it flattering, nor ethical and if you're out there doing it, stop it. I'm fairly certain most of you aren't, but I needed to say it.

Back to my tatting then, while I suppress the desire to only post blurry pictures, I did work on a custom necklace yesterday. This back drop necklace needed to be shorter in front which meant I had to redesign the front motif here a bit. I thought I had it all worked out, but then the necklace was too short to fit over my head. You see usually, when you unhook the back there, the chain sections are long enough to slip over your head, but with the changes it wasn't. So I stared at it for a good half an hour trying to come up with an elegant solution. Well, it isn't the most elegant, but I added two clasps to the shoulder pieces. I only needed one, but symmetry demanded two. Now, I need to go back and remove the back clasp to reduce potential confusion, but otherwise it is done.

That's all I have on tap for today. Just finishing this and going back to the woven rose motif while I grumble, 'some people' under my breath. Here's to a better day than the morning has promised.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Last Week to Monday, huh? I just realized that on Friday I was certain that I would have done something worth sharing by today. I really didn't. I did get my custom order finished, and I did spend much of the weekend remaking a pair of ankle corsets. I did not get around to working on new pieces with the woven rose motif. I know, not a particularly cleaver name, but it was all I could come up with and it's fairly descriptive. Oh, one more thing, I did list the bracelet in the shop. So I suppose I got a few things done.

Anyway, I did get another custom order in yesterday morning. Of course it wasn't until late afternoon that the customer confirmed that the changes I suggested for their request would work for them. It is a little frustrating to get orders with requests to change things in the the notes to seller that are far more complex than color, or chain length. There have been more than one occasion where I've had to just cancel the order because the request was impossible, or at least something well beyond what I felt comfortable doing without further compensation. This wasn't one of those, but still frustrating to wait to start work, because the last thing I want to do is jump the gun and make something that turns out to be unneeded. The next last thing I hate to do is waste valuable working time.

So this is the last week of our home schooling year. Oh wait, I read somewhere that I'm suppose to call it 'home educated' now because 'home schooling' apparently conjures negative impressions. Yeah, I don't really care either. We have just three days left. Then I pack up all those books and supplies, clean the 'school space' and prepare to try to relax for a few days. Then I start panicking as I try to fill that extra free time with something to keep the kids occupied so that we don't all kill each other. Yep, looking forward to that. In the meantime I've got that custom order to work on and as soon as it's done, I swear I'll get back to the woven rose. Yeah, that sounds like a plan.