Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last Day

No new tatting occurred yesterday, but I did finish one of the arm warmers I've been knitting. I knew they were going to be long ones, but I guess that didn't translate in my mind to them taking so much longer than the other gloves I've knitted up recently. Obviously, you can't see how long they are here, but they are actually elbow length and that's pretty long. I did start on the second one, but I had a few false starts. We were watching movies much of the day and apparently Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are too distracting to properly count.

We've go big plans for tonight, I haven't stayed up for midnight on New Year's Eve for years. I mean the new year will still be there when I wake up tomorrow, so I figure what's the bother. We are going to watch all the Lord of the Rings movies though, because the kids can't remember them. They didn't catch any of the tie over moments from the last Hobbit film. Since that should take up much of the day, I'm sure to get plenty of knitting time in.

I did get one small order overnight, so I have one necklace I can remake as well and since I could use the practice, I'll sneak that in as well. So I guess that's it until next year. I wish you all a good, safe night and here's to a creative and prosperous new year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Needles Out

You'll never guess what I did yesterday. Yes, I knitted some more, but I also did some tatting. That's right, I actually picked up my needle and thread and made a couple of things. While I started out the day with knitting in between tasks like laundry and dishes, I was also racking my brain for ideas to get some sales in the shop. It had been almost two weeks since I had a physical sale. That's also one of the reasons I had not tatted anything in 10 days. So I settled on releasing an end of year coupon code, 'YEAREND'  and I made it good for 25% off anything over $10 in my etsy shop. It's only good through the 1st of the year, so please do share it if you think anyone would like to pick something up. But I digress, I listed the coupon code on my facebook page and was soon rewarded with a single sale from one of my most lovely repeat customers.

The order needed three out of four pieces made in custom colors, so I had a tatting task for the first time in days. These pictures are just two of them along with the arm warmer I am still knitting. I got all the pieces for the order done and I should have them in the post this morning. Then it's back to knitting, unless the coupon code discount lures some more sales in, which I really hope it does. Tatting again did not yet spark any new ideas, but at least it's good to know that I haven't forgotten how, or even lost any of my speed. I'm still shooting for a new year full of new ideas.

Monday, December 29, 2014

It's Over

Happy Monday all! It is most assuredly not back to normal in my household as the working and schooling members are all still on vacation for one more week. We are, however, back to our usual 4 human and 6 cat residents. At the height of the holiday week we were up by 3 humans and 2 cats sleeping here and 20 people visiting. I'm fairly certain that the cats are the most relieved to see our guests depart. They were not only especially cuddly last night, but they let me sleep until my alarm went off this morning instead of rousing me a half an hour earlier like they've done for days.

I've still not touched a tatting needle, but I did continue to knit over the weekend. I started out with a cowl when I realized, several rows in, that I'd made a fatal mistake. I scrapped it out of frustration and switched gears entirely. I'm now working on a new pair of arm warmers for myself in ridiculously thin yarn. We'll call it a baby step back to thread. We also spent time with family over the weekend before they departed. First it was, video game playing with one set of cousins and then with the other. Then there was a lovely trip out to dinner with my brother and sister-in-law for Indian food and yesterday we finally went to see the final Hobbit movie. I'm ready for a vacation from the vacation.

We don't have any solid plans for the week, so I guess we'll just play the whole thing by ear. I'll keep knitting with my sitting time and try to remember to get some photos at least. I'm still shooting for getting back to tatting next week. I'm hoping the time off will do me good, but it has yet to create any epiphanies. I'll stay the course and hope for the best.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Chaos, Cats, and Snowflakes

Again, I am am up far before dawn as the cats have decided that I need to wake up a good forty minutes earlier than usual. I tried to ignore them, but their go to move it scratching gently at my face. That's pretty hard to ignore. Yes, these innocent looking cats are complete menaces to my sleep.

We had a good, if not chaotic holiday here with about 20 people in the house for a good chunk of the day. I cleaned and cooked, then cleaned some more, thankfully missing much of the day's political conversations. It's much easier to keep my mouth shut and not get into it when I have a pile of dishes in front of me that must disappear.

I think everyone was pretty pleased with their gifts though no one made any comments about their snowflakes except for a glitter comment that I'm sure I missed most of. Since they all have them though, here's an in progress photo of them as they were drying after the glitter modge podge. I thought it turned out to be a fairly interesting small snowflake, not that the world needs more tatted snowflake patterns.

At least some of our guests will be here through the weekend, so more family activities are likely. I also got a request from my sister yesterday to make her a pair of wrist warmers like the ones I made for the kids, so I'll have another knitting project just as soon as she brings over some yarn. She's bringing the kids over this morning for video gaming and relative visiting so it will likely be today as well. If only I hadn't woken up with a cold sore forming, the weekend would be looking good.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holiday

I wasn't going to write this morning, but it's early, I'm up and the rest of the house still slumbers. So, Merry Christmas to everyone out there who celebrates. The family will all be here later today and I'm certain to have a completely exhausting day full of food, drink and chatting.

Oh, I finished the husband's gloves yesterday while watching holiday movies too, so all my proposed knitting projects are already complete. I got some extra yarn though, so I'll think of something else to occupy my time while I continue my tatting sabbatical. I want to stay away long enough to appreciate and find great joy in it again. I'm guessing I should be good by the new year.

So again, Happy Holidays and have a festive, fiber filled time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Glove and Chaos

Well, I certainly had an interesting day. It started out with cleaning and getting a second guest room created out of the chaos that we call the kids' toy room. Then there was the disassembling of the school set up to make room for the family on Christmas. This was followed by copious amounts of vacuuming. I was going to wrap up the cleaning with the bathroom when the toilet decided to malfunction. It was shooting water up out of the valve causing a leak from the tank. Fun, right? The internet told me the issue and the fix so after the family's dentist appointments, yep we did that fun task too, it was off to the hardware store for parts and home to fix a toilet. If this is sounding like spectacular was to spend a vacation day, well then I'm not certain any of us understand the word 'vacation'.

When all that nonsense was wrapped, I finally sat down to knit. My fingers are killing me from all this tight, small work. I always forget that each fiber art causes it's own unique calluses and if I take too long between each my fingers get all soft and vulnerable again. I'm getting pretty close to finishing the first glove of the pair, but I'm likely to slow down again today. One of my brothers arrived to stay with us yesterday evening and the other brother, his wife, and their cats will be here tonight. I still have counters to clean off and floors to steam mop. I do so miss being a kid with nothing to do but play games and be so loud that gags were threatened. I haven't threatened mine with that quite yet, but I certainly have thought it.

If I don't write tomorrow, have a happy Thursday and/or Christmas, whichever it is for you and yours.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


The knitting plan is going quite well. I finished the fingerless gloves for the youngest daughter and worked all day on the older daughter's, finishing those as well. Of course I didn't move from the couch much, but I felt like I was both relaxing a bit and accomplishing something.

Once the kids pieces were done it was time to start on the husband's gloves. I thought I was going to have to find a new pattern for his because he picked some thicker yarn than the last time I made some for him. I looked for quite some time, finding one or two that would work, when I finally realized that if I just knit the instructions for the smaller version, it should work up okay. Of course I really won't know for sure until I get to the fingers, but I'm committed to trying it out anyway.

Family house guests start arriving today so I need to get some last minute cleaning taken care of. We need to get the schooling table put up so there's more room for people and I'm sure a bunch of other small things as well. Honestly I'm starting to get less stressed out about keeping up appearances for guests. I mean they are family after all, and I'm fairly certain they've already silently judged my housekeeping. Of course I haven't let it go completely and there will still be cleaning, I just won't freak out about it as much.

Monday, December 22, 2014

I Have A Plan

I know what you're wondering. Why on earth am I awake and writing at this horrible hour when the husband and kids are on vacation? Well I'll give you some hints, they have 4 legs, there are six of them, they have internal clocks that only ever err early, never late, and they couldn't be bothered to care that I could theoretically sleep in. So there you have, as we often say around here, cats are jerks.

I didn't get up to much tatting over the weekend as I expected. There were family errands run in order to get them out of the way before the shops get unbearable to visit and there was some sitting about. We had an absolutely wonderful time at a get together of friends on Saturday where I gave away one of the gifts I was working on a couple of weeks ago. It was a black and red jellyfish which I did not remember to take a good picture of at all. I know, good job there huh? I gave that one as well as a blue one and I think they were well received and that's all that really matters.

Yesterday while out to fetch a frame for a wonderful gift of art that the husband received at the same get together, I decided that what I really needed was a knitting project with a purpose and since I was at the craft store, I picked up some fresh yarn. I'll spend the next weeks of my sitting time making new fingerless gloves for the family. I was just going to do some for the husband, but the kids were there and both requested some as well. Honestly I'm glad they did, it gives me a nice list of projects to work one even if it's not tatting. Maybe it will give me enough time away that my creative batteries will recharge and then new year will actually see new work again.

Friday, December 19, 2014


I managed to be really, really busy yesterday while flitting from task to task. We started with schooling followed by a trip to mail a package. The we came home and the kids helped me wrap presents. It was everything I could do to not re-wrap the ones the youngest child did because she was convinced that she could 'do it myself' and they was no arguing it. After that it was helping the kids iron their perler bead creations. They decided to make everyone gifts themselves with perler beads after asking their relatives what their favorite animals were. It was a really sweet gesture that I had absolutely no hand in and can take no credit for.

Once I'd met all those obligations most of the day was already gone, but I did a little tatting anyway, and knitting. Though the knitting is a bit of a sore subject. I made a colossal mistake and since it was a lace stitch pulling back the rows proved too difficult for me. I had to rip the whole thing apart and start over. I suppose it's a good thing that it was suppose to just be my fallback project, not something important with a purpose. I still have plenty of tatting left to finish as well, so I've been going back and forth between projects to maintain that 'busy' feeling.

The weekend will likely be filled with family adventuring and unfortunately cleaning. Family will be here next week, some to stay over and some just for the holiday itself. The house isn't a big mess but it could use some tidying. It will also be time to clean up the school table and put it away for vacation. So hopefully I'll be in a more optimistic mood by Monday.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Well let's see, I tatted some yesterday and I got the two orders I received in the mail. Then I got another small order and went ahead and made it up. I have to put that one in small boxes though, so that means a trip to the store this morning with the larger mail slot, they won't fit through the one I have on the street. Then I did a terribly unwise thing, I checked my order stats from this time last year and the year before. I'm not going to go into the actual numbers of course, but let's just say that I've gone from thinking I had a fairly successful little business to thinking that's it's becoming almost not worth the effort.

Don't worry, I'm going to stop tatting or close up shop any time soon, but it is clear that something has really changed. Maybe everyone who was ever going to want my tatted goods has already got them, or maybe it really is that all the changes at etsy have made me irrelevant in search. I'd crawl up in a ball and whine about it, but the holiday is almost here and I've still got things to do. Presents need to be wrapped, rooms need to be cleaned and even though it doesn't seem to matter, I've got a few things left to tat up for the shop too. I'll just keep moving forward and hoping.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Yesterday was completely the opposite of the day that preceded it. I felt about as productive as a sloth. I tried to get the new bracelet idea worked out, but I seriously failed. I cut more than one idea off that thing before I unceremoniously threw it on the lace pile. There's a slight chance I'll go back and get it figured out in the future, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

I was however still in the mood to make things. I spent a good deal of time scrounging around my thread stash to find something that would give me a project when I ran across some sock yarn. I decided to knit, just for the sake of getting my hands back to busy. I tried to find a pattern that inspired me, I even signed into ravelry for maybe the third time ever for some inspiration and I found nothing that jumped out. So I just looked though my stitch dictionary, found a nice simple lace stitch and starting making what I assume will become a scarf...not that I need any more scarves.

While the knitting is now my fall back project, I woke up to a sale and a convo that led to another small sale the minute I responded. That means I have things to remake for the shop today. I am certainly pleased about that and it should keep me busy even through tomorrow. Just another couple of days until the kids are on vacation and I think I'm bound to join least a little bit.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Threes it really didn't feel like it at the time, I suppose yesterday was a fairly productive day. I made up a final, and not surprisingly black version of the new pendant. I named it Threes because of the two sets of three rings it contains...I know, super clever. It's in the shop now as well as the message that I'll be sending one of these out with every order over $10 through the 25th. The only thing that doesn't count toward that is patterns since they don't get shipped.

Once that was done it was onto finishing the gift snowflakes. They all got sparkled, hung on hooks, bagged up and ready to be added to the gifts. Of course there was a lot of sitting about waiting for each side to dry, so I used that time to make a few of the pendants up just in case the free gift offer actually does encourage a few more sales.

Then I thought about riding out the rest of the day vegetating on the couch, but I was already in a bit of a production mode. I decided to go ahead and play with the motif and see if it could be made into a bracelet at least. It's usually pretty easy to take a nice round piece and link them together. The trick is that they need to be the right size to make a wearable bracelet. It seemed to work out, but I think it might be missing something. Maybe it's because I needed four of the motifs and even numbers assault my senses. Whatever the reason, I think I'm going to try to work a border of some kind around this and see if that pulls it together better. If it does, you'll see it again soon. If not, this is last you'll see of it. I'm just glad to be starting another day with a tatting plan in place. Here's hoping that this is just the beginning of a trend.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Small New

No giant news from the weekend, but I did get up to something. I had decided to augment some of the gifts we were giving with a tatted something. I decided to go with a small snowflake and I was lazy enough to go and just use an existing pattern by anyone else, but I couldn't find one I liked that was the right degree of easy and interesting. I found one close on I think, a Polish site, so I started with it and changed it until I really liked it and that's what I made. They worked up fast, which is what I hoped and while I worked I thought maybe without the arms it would make a cute asymmetric pendant. That's what the picture is, not the snowflake, but the pendant born from it. I don't like to share photos of things I'm gifting until after they've been gifted. Not that many people I know in real life will actually read this, but still.

So today's projects are, finish the snowflake gifts with sparkle and hooks, then work up a final pendant piece and perhaps get it in the shop. I'm also going to be putting one of them in every non-pattern etsy order I get from now until Christmas. Though I won't put an announcement in the shop about it until I have it listed as a sale item. It really feels nice to have finally made something new, even if it is small. Maybe I'll see what else can be done with the basic motif, or maybe not. It really is too soon to tell if creativity or lazy malaise will win the week. At least it's starting on an upswing.

Friday, December 12, 2014


Sorry, just another day of not too much to share. I think we got most of the work samples we need put together for the kids' promotion. I've just got some final organizing to do this morning before the meeting. I suppose after I hand all this stuff over, I can at least relax a bit. Of course there's always the chance that they will refuse the requests and then I'm not certain what happens, but I really ought not worry about that now.

I did get to a little tatting yesterday, mostly cat ear headbands. I have three complete ones now, so I think that I shall stop for now. I also remade one pendant that I actually sold sometime ago and forgot to remake. I did make another small sale yesterday, but it was a one off necklace, so I don't really have anything to remake from that. Of course I'm not sure how productive I'll even feel after the meeting this morning. Hopefully something will present itself over the weekend, a sale, or some inspiration to get me back to work. Here's hoping. I'll leave you with some cats in their new favorite spot under the Christmas tree. Everything is better with cats.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Not Much

Anther day of plodding along with work samples for the kids promotion. We only have one more day really to get everything done and I've saved the more laborious tasks for today. That's partly because I'm a procrastinator at heart and partly because there's a storm coming through today and the children will really be stuck in the house as soon as it starts. Nowhere to run and all that.

I also got a little tatting done as well. Not a whole lot of it and nothing worth photographing really, but I did it. Once more cat ear headband was completed and a third started. I also tatted up a small pair of earrings, which was the last thing to sell in my shop. So today, after schooling, I'll just keep working on cat ear headbands until my attention is requested elsewhere and I honestly hope that it is. I really could use a pleasant distraction soon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Well That's Done

It was definitely a jam packed Tuesday. We weren't even finished with schooling until well after lunch. I know that doesn't sound like a long time especially given that traditional school is always that long, but we usually wrap it up much quicker. After that and several other related tasks were finally done, I had time to sit down and tat.

I actually managed to not only finish the gift project, but I also remade the piece I needed to for the shop. I even started working on making another backup piece since it was my cat ear headband that sold and it seems to always sell in small clusters. Having more made at a time is just wise. The picture is just the centers of the pair still in progress. I'll try to remember to get a photo of the gift to share after the holidays.

I still have more things to do for the kids promotion. We've managed to gather most of the work samples save for the composition ones. They are the ones I am personally most worried about. Neither of the kids enjoy writing much and that is definitely reflected in those pieces. I'm sure we'll come up with something good by Friday though and then hopefully I can collapse for a while. Other than that, I'll work on the cat ears and keep crossing my fingers for more sales.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Whew, yesterday went off the rails quickly. Not tatting wise, no that's coming along just fine. I didn't have much spare time to work on my gift project, but I did manage some progress on it. There's still been no major uptick in sales from my shop, but I have gotten a couple in the last few days. Enough that I finally have something else that I should remake for the shop. Of course all that supposes that I get any free time the rest of the week, which brings us back to that 'off the rails' comment earlier.

As you probably know, I homeschool both my children. Over the last few years they have accelerated in classes that they found easy and eventually they were both working a full grade level above what they are. There has been talk of promoting them to the grade they are working in for some time, but I just got word that we need to provide a bunch of work sample before the end of next week to make the request this year. So, my week and by extension, their week is now devoted to assembling work packets. This is only a drama because they do much of their work online and orally that there really is little actually on paper to choose from. I'm sure we'll get it done, but I probably won't get much else done with the week.

If by some miracle I do get some spare, sitting time I've got this mystery gift to finish, a piece to make for the shop and there's still that cleaning of the house I should get to. Personally I'm hoping for just enough time for the tatting and not quite enough for the cleaning. Really I'm just hoping we all survive the extra work we just got for the week.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekend Recap

Well my cold seems to be on it's last legs. It's still not gone completely as it's been reminding me with occasional coughs and popping ears, but I have most of my energy back. Thanks too, for all the remedy advice a couple of you commented with, I appreciate it! I even managed to to a little remaking for the shop including this ring.

Over the weekend we tackled the task of holiday shopping. With my shop doing so poorly lately, we really had to revisit who and what to gift this year. I also decided that there were a few people that might actually appreciate a tatted gift. I still feel bad about giving my handmade gifts, mostly because I worry people, particularly my family, still look at it as if I made a crayon scrawled card for them instead of buying something. Never the less, I'm tatting up a couple of gifts with all the extra time I have. I figure since I'm not making much money, at least I contribute to the gift giving this way. I'll try to take some progress photos without giving away what it is I'm making today.

Other than the gift making, I've got a teacher meeting for the kids to plan for this week and I really ought to do some maintenance cleaning. The time between the holidays always gets me stressed about the house. I do wish that I actually enjoyed this time of year, but I can't wait for the calm of the beginning of the year.

Friday, December 5, 2014

I Did Something At Least

I was feeling a bit better yesterday, well not better really, the cold had just shifted symptom sets and this set allowed me to at least breath, so I call it a win. I even remade a couple of pieces that had sold in the last few weeks. The general malaise from so few sales has kept me from bothering to remake anything really. I managed to make both a bracelet and a pair of earrings. I know that it doesn't sound like much, but between that and actually getting the laundry done, I'm calling yesterday quite productive.

I'm definitely still sick this morning, but I'm hoping that as the day wears on I'll feel even better. Not that I have anything that needs doing at this point, I'd just like to feel like I could get things done if I had to. Maybe that way the Universe will sense my readiness and send some sales. Hey, I can dream, right?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ugh, Again

Oh, how I was I could tell you that I was feeling better, but alas, I'm afraid that I am feeling worse. I'd run down the miserable cold symptoms, but I'm certain you don't want to read all that. I did manage to do all the finishing work on the snowflakes. They all have hooks, are bagged, and ready for my mother-in-law to gift. Then I attempted to simply rest and watch some shows on my DVR, but despite feeling like crap, I couldn't just do nothing. So I spent the afternoon tatting up a pair of ankle corsets.

So I suppose today, I'll look and see if there is anything else I ought to remake for the shop just so I have something to do while I try not to move from the couch. I can really hardly wait until my cold has run it's course and I can feel good again. I guess I'll cross my fingers for that today.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


So I was off with the family all day yesterday. The husband had a doctor's appointment out of town an when that happens, we use it as an excuse to go to the fancy mall there. Luckily this allowed us to knock out a huge chunk of our holiday shopping, unfortunately this also allowed us to spend the money required to knock out that huge chunk of our holiday shopping.

I didn't get any tatting done, even though I brought some in the car. It was dark and rainy most of the trip and that makes me a nervous passenger. I just can't seem to allow my self to become distracted even though there is nothing I can do to help against the elements. I also forgot to mention that the oldest child picked up a cold over the Thanksgiving weekend and then proceeded to gift it to me. Of course she got the mild version and I got the, I feel like complete crap, version. I'm sure that didn't help either.

Today I should get my mother-in-law's snowflakes finished with their hooks and then maybe I'll try to get some rest to scare off this illness. More likely I'll spend the day miserable and complaining about everything I can think of. Be glad you live far away. Here's to feeling better, and maybe getting some sales in the etsy shop to cheer me up.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Snowflakes Again

Yesterday, while I got little tatting done, I did continue to work on the snowflake project. Since their destiny is to be Christmas ornaments, they look much better with a little sparkle. I use Sparkle Modge Podge for the task. I coat them on both sides so it takes a good day for them to be dry enough for me to add their hooks.

This is just one set of them on wax paper. There are about 2 dozen of them in total. We're off on a family adventure today, so I'm awake far too early if you ask me, but that also means that I won't get to the hooking of these until tomorrow. Once that's done, I'm all out of projects.

I did use some of the drying time to work on a pair of ankle corsets, not that any of them sold recently. I just needed something to focus my energy on and I chose that. There's still been no uptick in the shop, so I'm just going to keep plugging away and crossing my fingers some more.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Weekend Recap

What a long, busy weekend. Not tatting busy unfortunately, but busy none the less. On Friday morning I finished up the crochet blanket that I've been working on. For some reason I actually kept track of how long I worked on it, I guess just so I'd have a ball park for next time I'm asked, and it was about 30 hours in all. It was so much crochet that when I finally picked up my tatting needle again the thread felt beyond miniscule.

I was pretty happy with how it turned out, particularity once it was washed and soft. Oh and I told you I'd get you the link to the edging...not that anyone asked, but I really liked using it, so I feel it's only right to share the source. It's the crochet All Shawl by Doris Chan. It's a free pattern and if you're comfortable modifying patterns, it's quite versatile as well.

The rest of the weekend was visiting wonderful friends and family and eating far too much. There was a little more cleaning of course and we managed to put up all our holiday decor. We're still only using the unbreakable ornaments because we still don't trust our army of cats, but the tree still looks as if Christmas threw up on it, so we'll call that a win.

Unfortunately I sold only one small piece over the weekend, so I have little to do today besides get back to schooling with the kids. I also finished tatting up my stack of snowflake ornaments for my mother-in-law over the weekend. I still need to glitter them up and get them on hooks, but once that's done, it's all just sitting about hoping the shop picks up so I can feel less guilty and actually do some holiday shopping. Here's crossing my fingers for some business.