Friday, November 28, 2014

Almost Done

The meal has been eaten and most of the house has already been returned to its preholiday position. While most of my attention was on last minute set up, babysitting a turkey and a ham, and stressing about time, I did get some crochet done. While I lamented that it was going too slowly, I started to look for solutions. The best one by far was the wide edging. It did take quite a lot of digging about to find the right one that could be modified to fit my needs,but once I found it, I was off.

The edging was from a free shawl pattern on ravelry. I'll find the link for it and share it on Monday if anyone is interested. I had to make a few changes to make it work not only around the corners, but since the shawl is rounded and the blanket is not, I needed to change some stitch counts so it wouldn't curve out too much. Of course then as the day was almost over and I was on the last round, I ran out of yarn, oh, maybe 8 inches from the end. So I undid the whole round and began again, this time removing another small element to make sure I'd have enough yarn this time.

 I should be able to finish it today and get it to its new owner for gifting. Then I guess it's back to making snowflakes for my mother-in-law, unless by some miracle, things pick up in the shop. It should be a pretty long weekend, hiding from the retail outlets.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thank You!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of those out there that celebrate. To the rest of the world, happy Thursday! I am, as usual, hosting the family meal today. This means that yesterday was devoted to cleaning and then worrying every time the kids walked by that they undid some part of my cleaning.

When I wasn't cleaning, I was working on the crochet blanket. When I stopped to measure it, I got an unpleasant surprise. It seems it is not growing at the rate I thought it was. Good news though, my blind crochet on the car trip yielded no major mistakes. I'm afraid I'm going to be at it longer than I had hoped. I'll still get it done by the time it's needed...I think, but with not much time to spare.

Since it is Thanksgiving, I wanted to take a minute to thank all of those out there that read my nonsense and ever so occasionally comment on it. Thank you to all of you who have ever bought a piece from me or a pattern, your support is appreciated more than you know. Thank you to all of you who have helped or encouraged me in my tatting journey. I have definitely been going through a rough patch, both creatively and sales wise lately, so thank you too for letting me vent here. I wish the best for all of you and I hope your holiday seasons are stress free and enjoyable!

(p.s.  If you're interested, you can get free shipping this season in my etsy shop with the code THANKYOU and do feel free to share the code)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nothing Much

Well yesterday was the last day of schooling until Monday, but we went off visiting family here from out of town for much of the day. I did bring my crocheting to work on while we were gone, but like I thought, progress is getting very slow on it. I think that I only managed to finish 2 rounds during the day. Then in the evening we took a trip out of town for dinner and I crocheted in the car, in the dark. While it's good to know that I will likely be able to crochet should I go blind, I still haven't looked at it in the light of day. I'm really hoping that I won't have to undo anything due to my lack of sight while working.

Today is the last day before we host everyone over here for the big dinner, so they'll be some cleaning to wrap up. After that though, I'm just going to sit and crochet some more. I guess I'll also be crossing my fingers again for some need to tat something. Here's hoping.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More Blanket

After schooling yesterday, the entire day was  given over to crocheting the gift blanket. It's growing steadily, but since it's done in a round, each row takes longer than the last. I reached about the three square feet make last night, so technically I only have ten rounds left to go, but I'm fairly certain that I won't knock those out today. They are the longest rounds ever.

Today is the last day of schooling before the kids are off for the Thanksgiving holiday. That means their crazy is about to be unleashed and I'll have to expend quite a lot of energy to keep the house clean until we host the big meal. Most of the energy will be in the form of constant reminders to the children to not make a mess though. I already got the bulk of the cleaning done.

Here's hoping I get a reason to tat something up soon. All this crochet is giving me a bit of the claw hand.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Crochet Away

You know the funny thing about making things all the time, is that you get a reputation for doing so. While I obviously spend most of my time tatting, I also crochet, knit, sew, embroider, felt, etc... a fairly wide swath of crafts. I'm sure many of you are the same way. Of course at this point I am a much better tatter due simply to devoting so much time to it, but I digress. On Friday I was called and asked to crochet a baby blanket by my in-law's neighbor for a family gift. She's an absolutely lovely person, so of course I agreed.

I went right out and got yarn and started working. She wants it to be quite large, 4 feet by 4 feet and she'd like to take it with her back home in just over two weeks, so it's pretty much all I've done all weekend, except for cleaning. I chose a nice simple pattern so I was sure to get it done in time, but I'm still working as fast as I can.

The best part of receiving a request like this is that it completely takes my mind off my shop, which is still dangerously quiet. I now have far too much to do to worry about that. Too bad I have no intention of charging as much for the blanket as I probably should. Some people always get the 'friends and family' discount especially when they would never ask for such a thing.

So I guess this week is likely crochet, family, house guests, and food followed by cleaning, more crochet and crossing my fingers that the shopping begins in my etsy shop, so I can shop a bit myself. Yep, it's going to be quite a week.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Crossing Fingers

Well, there wasn't a single snowflake in my life yesterday. Quite thankfully, just as I was finished writing for the morning, I got an order in the shop. So I spent the day working on remaking the pieces sold. Among them was one of my larger bracelets and a tatted ring.

The bracelet took most of the day, but the ring is what I managed to take a photo of for the blog. It had been a long time since I made one of these. They're fairly simple, but with the weaving, they take a bit longer than an ordinary, or smaller one.

Just as I was finishing this for the day, I sold one more small piece as well. That gives me something to work on for today. Though it is just a pendant, so it shouldn't take long and then I can get back to the snowflakes.  I'm just so very glad to have made one sale, let alone two for the day. You have no idea how much I am crossing my fingers that it is the beginning of a trend and not just an isolated incident.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Snowflakes Again

It certainly wasn't an exciting day for me, but I did manage a little tatting done at least. After schooling I sat down, cuddled under a blanket, and started tatting. Then I remembered that I was also doing laundry, got up, got cold, and did that for a while. When I did sit down, I worked on more snowflakes for gifting. I thought I had made a lot more than I could find about the house, but apparently I overestimated my lace snowstorm. That only means that I really ought to stick with it for a few more days.

The snowflake I'm making tons of is Jane's Flurry Snowflake. Honestly I've lost track of how many I have designed myself over the last decade, but I always come back to hers. I made a few itsy changes, mostly to make it a single round and make the joins and shapes easier for me. The pattern is so pretty and interesting. I adore interesting design. It makes it easier to make dozens of something without getting sick of them.

So as you have already guessed, the shop has not yet come back to life, so I'll be making more snowflakes today. That is of course unless something, anything, changes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's Something Anyway, I was a little more on task yesterday, but just barely. It's finally gotten cold around these parts...not cold for most people, but cold for us, so I was cuddled on the couch most of the day which a good position for tatting. The first thing I did was remake the piece I sold on Monday, a Star Flower boutonniere. I didn't really need to as it's listed in the shop as a custom order where you can choose your own colors, but I needed something small and interesting to make.

I used the same pattern for this that is available for sale in my shop as a pendant pattern, The Star Flower Motif. It's always a little more fiddly to make anything attached to a pin finding, but again, I needed something a little interesting so I would focus and get tatting again. It worked too, because after this I started making more snowflakes for my mother-in-law. I've made tons of them already, but she was never clear about how many she would eventually want for gifting. I figured if nothing else, it would get me back into the groove of tatting at a normal pace again.

I'm still hoping for more sales in the etsy shop for the upcoming holidays, but so far this November is about half the sales as last November which was down already from the years before. It's been a sad steady decline. Oh well, nothing for it, but to keep tatting and crossing my fingers right?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fingers Crossed

Yesterday did nothing to really change my outlook for the week. I did however get one small sale late in the day, so I do have something to remake for the shop today. This means that I should also have a photo for the blog tomorrow and that's at least more visually interesting than a page of meandering text.

Aside from schooling and some cross stitching to hold the boredom at bay, I did little throughout the day. There were a couple of things I could have tatted up, but after the weekend full of speed tatting with no purpose in the end, I felt like avoiding it for the day at least.

That, unfortunately, is all I have for you today. Hopefully, working on the sold piece will get me back into 'work' mode and I'll get other things done as well. I also really hope that getting back to any useful work will inspire the Universe to throw some sales and/or inspiration my way. This is most assuredly a fingers crossed sort of morning.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Less Than Fun

I'm afraid all the weekend had in mind for me was a ton of work and really not a bit of relaxing. Sure, I sat a lot after cleaning, but it was not relaxing. Well, let me back up a bit, I didn't hear from the buyer with the missing package all weekend and since the whole matter of missing packages stresses me out, I simply decided to remake all the lost pieces 'just in case'. So every time I got to sit, it was to work on those pieces. When I wasn't sitting, I was cleaning.

The husband had decided that we should get the carpets clean before the holidays, since 6 cats make them, well, less than pretty even with regular vacuuming. This meant I was using the carpet cleaner to deep clean them all after he vacuumed. It's times like these that I seriously regret purchasing a two story house. Anyway, the carpet cleaner made my hands sore, well it made all of me sore, but my hands specifically, which meant sitting down to tat when I was done with a few rooms was less than relaxing. I felt like I was on a 'just in case' deadline though, so I needed to work fast.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm tired and have little to show for it. To make matters worse, I emailed the customer again last night, this time directly, to find out what they preferred and wouldn't you know it, I heard back this morning that they would prefer a refund. This means I now have double pieces that I don't really need to have on hand and money I don't have until the shipping insurance, hopefully, pays out to refund. I do not like the look of the week to come. I sure hope that the Universe proves me wrong on this one.

Friday, November 14, 2014


As expected, we were out of the house the entire day and since I could not bring tatting with me on the trip, I did none. The field trip was a train trip to the state capitol where we went to a museum and then toured the capitol building. After that it was a bit of shopping in Old Town Sac and back on the train.

This is the kids at our first stop, the California Museum. Honestly, I am just wiped right now and I can't believe I still have to do a day of schooling today. Not to mention the depressing message I got upon returning home in the evening. Okay, maybe not depressing, just frustrating. A rather sizable order has not arrived at its destination. Like others before it, it appears to have gotten lost or stolen just after leaving my hands. I did insure the package, so hopefully the claim will go smoothly, but I still need to hear back from the customer to find out whether I'm returning their money or if I have some large pieces I need to quickly make and send as replacements. It will certainly put me in a funk until it is resolved, but there's really nothing for it other than to deal with it as it comes.

So here's to a quiet weekend with some rest both for my sore feet and my stressed out head.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Looking Up

My shop had a pretty good day yesterday. After I got the white barefoot sandals in the mail I got an order for a corsage bracelet, so I rushed that out the door as well and started working on its replacement for the shop. It's definitely one of my older designs, so I've made a few small adjustments over the years to make it sturdier. It's always a tough call to change a design when I have no plans to retake the photos for it, but I don't think anyone, but another experienced tatter could find my adjustments.

Then later in the afternoon I got another order in the shop, this time for a pair of my ankle corsets. Luckily I actually had two pairs already made, so I quickly relisted them. I'll still work on getting another pair made though.

Today we have an all day field trip, so I will get absolutely nothing done. I wish I could bring my tatting, but our end destination has a strict 'no pointed objects' security policy. I'm fairly certain that a six inch needle and a pair of scissors will not get through. So I apologize in advance for the boring, tatting free post you'll get tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Well, I Did Something

Yesterday was supposed to be a nice, lazy day, but apparently I am incapable of really doing that when I'm suppose to. Instead of sitting about I did laundry and the dishes, I went outside to pull weeds and we managed to do a little schooling as well. Then when I finally did sit down I couldn't stop trying to come up with something to make. I remembered that I had not yet made the Celtic motherhood knot motif I created for a friend for the shop. Of course I couldn't find any of my prototypes and it's been just long enough that I could quite remember all my very carefully thought out stitch counts. Also, I only had very small pictures of it so stitch counting was almost impossible. All that being said, I managed to recreate the design and get it in the shop.

I should really make it in a few more color variations for illustrative purposes, so if I can't think of anything better to tat up today, I guess I'll do that. I might even attempt to create a pattern for it. It's quite small, but the weaving of the design can be a bit tricky. It also has a tendency to look like you've made a mistake until it's been pulled tight and finished. So I guess the emphasis is on might here. We'll just see what the day brings.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Well yesterday wasn't particularly exciting, but I did manage to get some tatting done. Of course it took longer than usual because me and the kids, well one kid anyway, attended the first virtual assembly for their online school. It was mostly a waste of time, but the kids saw their names on the screen so that made it worth it for them.

It was well after lunch before I had some time to get to work. I took a picture early just in case I didn't finish the barefoot sandals, but I plugged along all day and got them done late in the evening. I was hoping to wake up to something else that needed doing, but no such luck.

The kids have the day off school, but since we have a field trip on Thursday we'll probably do a little anyway just to make up for that. Either way, it should be a lazy day unless my creativity kicks in. What? It could happen.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Things To Do the weekend started on task. I mean I managed to get the new bracelet made, photographed and listed in the shop. I even took some extra time and made it in an additional length. Every change I made during the design process seemed to lengthen the piece. So while it started out fitting me just fine, by the end it was too big. That's completely fine though since one repeat less did fit me and that means I can make it to fit a much wider variety of people.

That was it for tatting over the weekend though. We had a bunch of family things, visiting and whatnot. We also went to see Big Hero 6, which I we loved. That, however, was pretty much it.

I did wake up this morning to a sale in my shop. It's a custom item as well, so I do have a task for today. The customer had contacted me late last night with a bunch of questions, so I hoped that it would result in something getting sold. That means not only do I have something that needs making, but I also will have something that is at least a different color than usual to take a picture of for you. It's a win-win.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Five Tries

It took me a while to sit down and get to tatting yesterday. It was a laundry and dishes sort of day. You know the kind where every time you sit down, you remember that there was something else you needed to do.

When I finally did get some tatting in, I ended up with two more passes on the new design. I know, I know, it's not that complex. Why couldn't I get it right faster? I guess I was just feeling a bit like a perfectionist. This go here was just about there, but there were stability issues.When I pulled on the piece, it stretched apart too much. I know that's not much of a concern unless of course you intend the final product to be worn, but I do.

I took one more pass after this adding another critical join and it passed the pulling test. However, I didn't finish up the piece until far too late in the afternoon to get it photographed and listed as a bracelet. At least yesterday's slowness leaves me with at least one task for today. I'll get this pressed, photographed, and listed in the shop. I'm not certain about it becoming anything else though. It's possible I'll make it into a choker, but I think that's it for this one.

Hopefully today or the rest of the weekend will offer me something interesting that I can work with or on. This time I hope it doesn't take five tries to make something.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


You'll never believe what I did yesterday! Okay, yes, I tatted and it was something new. To my great delight, the early afternoon brought with it a sale in the shop with a small piece to remake. Once I was tatting that simple bracelet, I finally had a smallest burst of creativity and I went with it. The first go wasn't quite right. Well actually, it was just fine really, but I wanted something a little more creative. This version seemed too straight forward, so I stopped and started over to make some different choices with the basic idea.

This is the second try and I liked it better right off the bat. There is more complexity to the pattern and more stability actually. Of course you might be able to tell that the stitch count isn't quite right here yet.  I only changed the one element, but kept the same stitches for the rest of it and that was not quite right either.

I'm not even going to show you take three because while I fixed the stitch counts I somehow forgot the outer rings entirely. While it looks fine without them, it wasn't what I was trying to do. So today is take four where hopefully I manage to incorporate all the changes into the final design and it becomes a nice bracelet and maybe even a choker if I have the time and inclination. I'm certainly hoping that this is just the beginning of a creative phase because I'm a much more likeable person when I'm happily making things.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Yet Another Day Wasted

So all things considered, I had the sort of Jury Duty day one would want to have. I went to the courthouse in the morning, sat down and started reading. After paying a modicum of attention to their presentation, a list of names ordered to return at 3 was read off. The entire time I was crossing my fingers that I would not be amongst them. Once the list was finished and a small pause was observed, the rest of us were freed for the year and home I went. Only an hour or two of my life wasted.

You'd think that that would have put me in enough of a good mood to start creating, but it really didn't. Between the Jury Duty in the morning and getting to the polls to vote in the evening, I was feeling far more civic minded than I really ever want to. So no creating for me. I did manage to do a little cross stitching in the afternoon, but I really need some tatting related inspiration soon.

The rest of the week should be better now that I don't have to devote it to the courthouse. I'm going to try my level best to get in a creative space regardless of the state of my shop. Hopefully I'll succeed and have something mildly interesting to share soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

One Day Wasted

Nope, I didn't get to any tatting yesterday at all. Well, it started with our schooling being delayed due to technical issues at their school site. Trying to keep them in a learning place while waiting for a website to come back was a bit of a challenge. When it finally came back about an hour late, we were basically an hour behind. Once I was off the schooling for the day, I was a tad more exhausted than usual, so I chose to mindlessly cross stitch and catch up on television.

I'm still waiting patiently for things to pick up in my etsy shop, but it is showing no signs of holiday influence yet. I'm hoping that it picks up, not only because I need the income, but the busier I am, the more creative I begin to feel. The more creative I feel, the more likely I am to get real ideas for new pieces and make time to create them.

Of course that creativity will not be with me today as I have jury duty. I am crossing my fingers that I will not be needed beyond today, but if history has taught me anything, it's that I have awful luck with this civic duty and it could waste days of my life. Since needles and sharp objects are prohibited in the court house, I'll just have to read to pass the time, hopefully I won't need to do so for long especially for the sake of the kids education.

Monday, November 3, 2014


Friday was indeed, all about the kids. There was much makeup and trick or treating. Yes, in the evening the skies did open up and unleash a torrent ruining the trick or treat for any kid that waited until dark to go out. Lucky for my kids and their cousins, we were paranoid about the rain and went out early with umbrellas in an effort to beat it. We finished our rounds just as it began to really pour.

In case you're wondering, the oldest is a sugar skull or La Catrina and the youngest is Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy. Both required much makeup by me, so I didn't bother dressing up myself.

The rest of the weekend was errands and movie watching. Well that and trying to regulate the flow of candy. Did I mention that because of the rain, we had only one trick or treater at our door? Yeah, that means we have an excessive amount of candy in the house...very dangerous.

On Sunday, I did get an order in the shop, so I got some tatting in while we watched a movie. It was definitely a nice way to wind down the weekend, Too bad I have yet to convince the cats that the time has changed and my morning is beginning far too early. This week also has the dubious distinction of being the week I have to remain available for Jury duty. It is truly, most frustrating since I home school and I can't exactly call on a substitute teacher. The best I can hope is that I'm only needed for a day or so and that I can get most of their shooing worked out before I have to be there. I'm not scheduled until tomorrow, but don't be surprised if it puts me in a mood for the whole week. So here's to some calming tatting in my future.