Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015

Just a quick note today to say goodbye to 2015. There were definitely some amazing things that happened this year. Lovey trips with the family, gatherings with friends, and more reading than I've done in years. I also taught myself bobbin lace, Armenian knotted lace and Romanian Point lace. Unfortunately I taught myself all those things because it was quite possibly the worst year I've had with tatting and my etsy store since I opened it ten years ago this April. Money has been tight and we've had quite a few large emergency type expenditures over the year as well. So I suppose like all years it wa a bit of a roller coaster.

Here's hoping 2016 will bring more customers to my shop, more creativity to my brain, and perhaps some positive exposure for my shop. I hope that the 2016 roller coaster will have far more ups than downs, metaphorically of course since that would be physically impossible. Thanks for spending some of your year reading my nonsense and don't forget to scroll down to yesterday's post and comment to enter the pattern giveaway and/or pop by my Facebook page to enter to win gift codes for my shop.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Year End Giveaway

I feel almost human this morning. I mean I'm definitely not at 100% or anything yet, but I also no longer feel like a walking virus, so I'm calling it a win. I didn't get round to much knitting yesterday as I decided to just focus on making the pair of barefoot sandals for the shop. Since I was focusing I actually finished the pair as well. It felt really good to be breathing a bit better and tatting all day again. My brain was still a bit foggy though, so I think it will still be a while before my creativity gets back to form though.

I am going ahead with a small end of the year giveaway both here and on my Facebook page. Just leave a comment on this blog post to enter to win this one, a collection of 3 of my tatting patterns currently listed for sale in my etsy shop. I'll email the winner(s) their choice of any 3 PDF's of my patterns. I haven't quite decided how many winners there will be yet though, at least one, but if there are many entries, I'll likely add additional winners based on the number. I'll pick winners early on Friday morning so please pop back to see if you've won. There will be a different giveaway on my Facebook page(later this morning), so feel free to enter both if you'd like, but you'll have to enter that one there.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Bit Better

I was still pretty out of it yesterday with the cold, though I seem to be a bit better this morning. It's really too soon to tell how the day will progress, but I'm cautiously optimistic that I'm finally on the upswing. I'm even typing better this morning. I mostly worked on the knitted lace top I showed you yesterday. I'm using this Cancun Boxy Lace Top pattern as the base, but since I could never get away with wearing something so short, I'm doing it longer and I might muck about to give it more sleeve as well, but for now I've finished one side.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/54042256/tatted-cuff-bracelet-grand-daisy?
I also remade this tatted bracelet after sending one off to it's new owner. Well that's not exactly the right order. I checked to see if the measurement of the one I had made matched the length in the listing and it was too short so I made a new one first with the right length then edited the listing to reflect the length of the one I had on hand. I tat much tighter than I used to and I find that when I remake old pieces they get shorter. They look better too, but that's not the point. Replicating my older pieces is getting more difficult as I must now change stitch counts so they work properly. Luckily that's only something another tatter might catch as a difference. I try my best to make sure they still look like the photographs.

I did get another order in the shop yesterday, quite unexpectedly. That means along with my knitting I also have a pair of barefoot sandals to tat up. I rarely finish those in one day, so that gives some work for tomorrow as well. I'm still thinking on what to do for a giveaway, but I want to do something before the week is out. My brain seems less foggy now though, so perhaps today is the day I get a good idea. Anything's possible, right?

Monday, December 28, 2015

I Have a Cold

It was quite a whirlwind weekend. Adding to the excitement was the cold that my husband successfully passed onto the rest of us. Yep, I am currently pretty miserable and have been for the last couple of days. Luckily the worst of it didn't hit until after Christmas. We did have a lovely holiday with over 20 people in the house. There were gifts and food and pure chaos. We even managed to get it all cleaned up before misery won and I collapsed on the couch with a Doctor Who marathon for two days.

While my mind was muddled by virus...well, it still it, but that's not the point, I knitted. I found a pattern for a lacy boxy sweater that matched the size of the yarn I have on hand. It's been a nice, simple, repetitive pattern and that's exactly what I needed to keep my hands busy, but my mind resting.

I did receive just one order over the weekend, so I have a bracelet I'm going to tat up today. If history repeats, the rest of this month will see little to no sales in my shop, so it's time to see if I can wake up my creativity again. I think I might have to wait until the virus is dead though...I can barely type a coherent sentence this morning.

Here's to getting better fast and getting my brain back on track.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy, Merry

I completely forgot to write yesterday morning as I got occupied with other holiday related matters. Mostly I was getting things ready for this morning, but I'm back today. So Happy Friday, or Merry Christmas, whichever you're most happy to have today. I have a house already full of sleeping relatives and come afternoon, there will be many more. In fact I think this year we might be stretching capacity at our house, but there's nothing for it.

There will definitely be cleaning, cooking, eating, and more cleaning and it will be loud. I'm all but certain that I will have no time for creativity today, but hopefully I'll find something interesting enough to share for Monday. I do plan on having a small giveaway here and on my Facebook page to close out the year next week. Not sure what going to be given, but something. Opinions on what you'd like to see would be appreciated. In meantime have a lovely weekend and thank you for everything.

Current & Final Etsy Shop Sale: 10% off with the code HOLIDAY10. Code is good through Dec. 27

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Quick

Just a quick post this morning. Yesterday was mostly cleaning and then visiting with some impromptu babysitting unexpectedly thrown into the mix. I managed some knitting while visiting, but nothing to take a picture of and share.

Today I promise I won't clean anything, but there will be one more house guest added today and then we're all headed out to see the new Star Wars movie. I can't imagine I'll get anything made or done that will be impressive for tomorrow's post, but you know I'll write anyway because habit is a powerful mistress. Maybe I'll just try to find something interesting to take a picture of, who knows.

Current & Final Etsy Shop Sale: 10% off with the code HOLIDAY10. Code is good through Dec. 27

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Relief

Sweet relief. I got so many things done yesterday that I am finally mostly stress free about the upcoming holidays and the guests they bring. I cleaned most of the house including the dreaded bathrooms. I finished tatting up snowflakes and got them glittered and finished. I cut, folded, and assembled countless pillow boxes to wrap all the presents in. Of course that part came with a slight X-Acto knife injury to the tip of my index finger that is currently making typing less than comfortable.

The best thing that happened yesterday was definitely the conclusion to the most recent missing package saga. The wonderful customer whose tracking erroneously said the package was delivered went to her local post office with the tracking info and was informed that the package was there, but opened. Seems it was likely a caught red handed postal employee moment. The good news is the inner wrapping was not disturbed and the custom made gift that it contains can now be given. This development reduced my stress level immensely and I am so glad for the customer as well.

They'll be just a bit more cleaning this morning before my brother and sister-in-law arrive and then I can sit down, visit, and maybe tat for pleasure. The rest of the week should be busy, but the good busy that comes from family gatherings, not shipping deadlines. 

Current & Final Etsy Shop Sale: 10% off with the code HOLIDAY10. Code is good through Dec. 27

Monday, December 21, 2015

Weekend Recap

It was one of those up and down sort of weekends. We managed to finish all our holiday shopping and avoided all retail outlets on Saturday. Years working retail has given me a healthy fear of shopping the weekend before Christmas. I got one order on Friday, so I had a little tatting to do while I caught up on television. The worst event of the weekend was the dreaded lost package message. It is especially bad this time of year. Even though I have no control of shippers, I always feel so bad when presents go astray. Right now I'm just waiting to hear back before I get to wok remaking the custom piece that was in the order.

I also got some more tatted snowflakes made up since I gifted a handful of them at a gathering of friends this weekend. I'm always so relieved when they seem to actually like them. I always get nervous that they think they are the equivalent of macaroni art or something. The gathering itself was of course the highlight of our weekend, but I'm still a bit tired from staying out so late.

Sunday was a wash really, though I did get some of the cleaning needed done in anticipation of our house guests this week. That's the plan for today as well. I also need to get wrapping because there is a pile of gifts on my desk that are taking over. Even without schooling this is going to be one long, busy week.

Current & Final Etsy Shop Sale: 10% off with the code HOLIDAY10. Code is good through Dec. 27

Friday, December 18, 2015

That's Done

I realized I was running out of time yesterday while I was writing here, so I set about to get a few things actually done. I started by cleaning out and prepping one guest room. That included washing sheets and relocating various piles of accumulated stuff. When that was done, I pulled out the fabric and staple gun and finished upholstering all the chairs. It was at this time that I regretted buying the least expensive staple gun as it continued to misfire on me. My level of frustration was extremely high. I did manage to finish all of them though. Then it was cleaning off a couple of counters until lunch and the other guest room started after lunch.

We even managed to wrap up most of the remaining holiday shopping in the evening. I still have wrapping to do and my hands are killing me after the chairs, but I feel ever so slightly less stressed out about the weekend. The kids last day of schooling is today as well, so I think I might just collapse into ball this evening, maybe with a bottle of wine. Hopefully I'll do something creative over the weekend to share, but there aren't good odds for that happening.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 15% off with the code HOLIDAY215. Code is good through Dec. 20

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Some Tatting

Since I actually started yesterday with an order in my etsy shop, I had tatting to do. My only regret is that they were all incredibly quick pieces to make. Of course I imagine that's a plus for the person who purchased them as gifts. They'll be out in the post this morning with a shipping upgrade as a gift from me.

I didn't tackle any more chairs yesterday. I decided that I should let my hand recover a bit so I'm not bruising a bruise. Instead I knitted and read the rest of the day. I'll probably get back to chairs today though. I'm running out of time to clean up the house before we host holiday house guests. My brother and sister-in-law will be here the longest starting on Tuesday, but my other brother will be staying here as well. I'm totally just stalling on all the things I know I should do. We haven't even finished shopping for gifts yet. There used to be a time when I had those all wrapped up before Thanksgiving to avoid all this stress. This year I'm apparently trying to win a procrastination award. Here's to a productive day in something anyway.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 15% off with the code HOLIDAY215. Code is good through Dec. 20

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Chairs

Yesterday went a weird direction on me. After schooling, I worked on the knitting project for a bit. Then we had a family dental appointment. After that we popped by the fabric store to get some material to reupholster our 8 dinning room chairs. The fabric on them has been wearing for some time. It's a weave with a thin thread over a thicker core thread and it's been splitting. The last straw was the pet rats though. Two chairs ended up pushed a bit too close to their cage and they chewed through the sides. So, it was time to make them look nice before we host yet another holiday dinner.

So, yes I spent the rest of the afternoon measuring, cutting material and getting three of the chairs done. The one on the left is the old material. You can see the splitting on front right corner. We tried to get material in the same color family, but it's a bit lighter and luckily denser too. I think I did a pretty good job though it's definitely not perfect.

I woke up to a custom order this morning, so that will be on the agenda today. It will be followed by the chairs. I've got a couple of weeks to get them all done, so I'm not actually in any rush. Maybe I'll just do one at a time, plus using the staple gun left me with a sore hand. I guess it's just been too long since I used one. I've also still got the knitting as well, so I should stay nice and busy for a little while at least.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 15% off with the code HOLIDAY215. Code is good through Dec. 20

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Knit

It was a housework kind of day yesterday. No new orders in the shop so when the time did finally come to sit down and catch up on shows with the kids, I opted for a little knitting.It's nothing big, nor fancy, just something to keep my hands busy when they would otherwise be idle.

As the days go by, it does get less likely that I'll get any more sales in the shop before Christmas. It's just getting too close to shop anywhere that ships first class. If you were running late though and wanted anything faster, I can ship priority upon request. Otherwise I'm just trying to focus on everything else that needs doing this time of year.

Once the holidays are past I usually have the time and inclination to start designing again, so I'll just start looking forward to that and start thinking about what I might want to create. Until then I'll clean and knit and try not to stress out on anything.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 15% off with the code HOLIDAY215. Code is good through Dec. 20

Monday, December 14, 2015

Weekend Recap

https://www.etsy.com/listing/62154676/tatted-lace-mask-down-in-the-underground?ref=shop_home_active_6It was a nice quiet weekend really. I did a little light cleaning on Friday, but that was it. I sold one of this mask late on Friday, so I spent both the rest of that day and a bit of Saturday making a new one. The rest of Saturday was pretty boring, though we did get out for a nice walk before the weather started to turn.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/62007169/tatted-choker-necklace-gothic-princess?ref=shop_home_active_2
On Sunday we did a little holiday shopping and I came home to an order for a choker. I spent the rest of the day catching up with dvr'd shows and tatting up that choker. That was pretty much the whole of my weekend.

This is our last week of schooling before winter break and I'm finding myself a bit more stressed out than I'd like to be. The semester is getting away from us and there's still so much that needs doing. So add that to the usual holiday stress and other silly nonsense and I pretty much want to crawl in a hole for awhile and hibernate. Instead though, I'll just keep plugging along and hope for the best.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 15% off with the code HOLIDAY215. Code is good through Dec. 20

Friday, December 11, 2015

Snowflakes

I tatted snowflakes yesterday and read. Yep, that was mostly it. This is the one I designed this year, but it's merely a modified version of last year's. If you missed it, the pattern for it is listed here on the blog for free. Of course I now have fresh ones you can buy as well. I finish them with glitter modge podge that both stiffens them and gives them that little extra embellishment.

I don't have any plans for today at all as I've remade everything that has sold this season. I'm sure I'll find something to occupy my day, for I fear there may be cleaning if I don't. I also fear it may be more snowflakes.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 20% off with the code HOLIDAY20. Code is good through Dec. 13

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Work and Hope

I had a lovely, busy day yesterday. I finished the necklace I was working on and started back on the bracelet that I had made just the other day since that one had sold straight away. Then just after schooling there was another, different bracelet sold and I managed to pop that one right in the mail. Remaking that was the rest of my day. Well, that and laundry and dishes and reading.

I've finished all of that though, so I'm starting today with no projects. I mean, I do still have the reading, but the tatting is all caught up with. Oh wait, I just remembered that I still have snowflakes to make up for the shop, I'm fairly certain that it's far too late for them to sell this year, but that will give me something to work on this morning and afternoon while I cross my fingers for another sale. I guess that the plan for today then, work and hope.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 20% off with the code HOLIDAY20. Code is good through Dec. 13

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Out

So I spent a really long day mostly in a car and I did nothing of consequence while I was there. Our drive out of town was almost completed in the dark so I couldn't work. On the drive home I just didn't want to work. We were out for a doctor's appointment, but we also tried to do some shopping. It was a complete failure at the big fancy mall, but on the way home we redeemed ourselves with some gifts purchased at an outlet mall.

When we got home, it was still early enough that I managed to finish the necklace I was working on the day before. I was also quite happy to come home to two more orders. One for the bracelet I just finished making and one for a set of snowflakes. This is the first set I've sold of them. So today I'll get a few more made up as well as the bracelet. That should keep me busy all day.

Also, thanks for letting me know about my sale typo yesterday. The code was and is still good, I only made a mistake by copying and pasting it from the days before and didn't change all the things I should have. So I guess that's what I get for being so lazy.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 20% off with the code HOLIDAY20. Code is good through Dec. 13

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Reading

I got in lots of reading yesterday, but just a little tatting. I didn't even manage to finish the necklace I was remaking. To be fair it is a denser design and it does take more time than many of my other pieces. Really though, I was just sucked into the novel and had a hard time focusing on doing both at once. I did take a television break at one point and sped through more tatting, but then I was back to reading when the shows were over.

Today we'll be out of town for much of the day starting at an ungodly hour this morning. This is why I'm writing at an even earlier hour than usual. I'll likely bring this necklace to work on once the sun is up, but I have no illusions about actually finishing it. I generally don't get anything done in the car, too distracting. Hopefully I'll get some sales while I'm gone so I'll have something to work on tomorrow. If not, I have four more books in the series to get through. Though reading does make for short and boring blog posts.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 20% off with the code HOLIDAY20. Code is good through Dec. 13

Monday, December 7, 2015

Weekend Recap

https://www.etsy.com/listing/195050749/tatted-slave-bracelet-diamond-lace?ref=shop_home_active_6
Let's see, I used Friday to finally finish remaking the bracelet I had been working on. It's one of my favorite creations actually. It's dense and strong, and from a distance, looks a bit like a machine made lace. After that was made I had nothing else in queue to make though. I did work on a crochet bag with some free time and with the rest I read. The husband has been a fan of The Dark Tower series for years and after a different book I read referenced it, I decided to give it a go. I finished book one on Wednesday, book two Saturday and I'm about a third of the way through book three now. The books in the rest of the series seem to get much thicker though, so I'm certain to be slowing down, but it gives me something else to use my time for.

The rest of the weekend was pretty lazy and contained no tatting. Right before bed last night, I did get another order in my shop. It was for a choker, so that should give me something to work on all day. The sale is my esty shop has changed again. This week it's just 20% off, not a bad deal either, though only one person used the code last week. I'm hoping for a few more this week as there is still plenty of time to ship them.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 20% off with the code HOLIDAY20. Code is good through Nov. 13

Friday, December 4, 2015

Tired

I am exhausted. We had a wonderful day though. We took the train to Sacramento then the  group had free time to do whatever we wanted before we were to meet at the train museum. We opted to visit the Crocker Art Museum. It was the kids first visit to a proper art museum and it was pretty nice. Though really we ended up having neither the time nor the energy to take it all in. It turned out to be much larger than it had at first appeared and the children also enjoyed it more than I think they thought they would.

Then we hoofed it through Old Town, had lunch, shopped a little, then it was onto the second museum of the day, The California State Railroad Museum. This entailed much more walking. We'd been there before so it we found the few new things to entertain us.

Finally it was another walk to the train station and a train ride home. We were out of the house for over 12 hours and I think we all almost collapsed into bed when we got home. I did manage to crochet a little on the train, but I got around to no tatting. This means I start today with a bracelet to finish. Good thing too because there were no new orders while we were gone. I'm hoping that the weekend picks up some more, but if not I may just use the time to rest a bit.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Nothing

I'm in a bit of hurry this morning as we have a day long outing for schooling with the kids. We will be on a train trip that ends in Sacramento and visits the Train museum there. It starts very early and ends very late so I imagine that tomorrow's blog post will be as brief and uneventful as this one.

Yesterday saw no sales in the shop, but I still haven't finished the bracelet I needed to remake from the last sale I got. I'll probably take that on the train with me, or maybe some slightly mindless crochet. I haven't decided yet, though I don't have much time to do so. In fact as I clearly have nothing of consequence to share, I think I'll just leave this here and hope that something fantastic will happen while I'm out of the house.What, it could happen.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 25% off with the code HOLIDAY25. Code is good through Nov. 6

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Lost

One of my least favorite parts of selling pieces online reared it's head a few days ago, the lost package. There are certainly worse parts, but it's definitely up there. Luckily it was accompanied by a very patient and understanding customer. I watched the tracking on it a few days hoping it would start moving again, but after a week in one place, I can only assume it's been irreversibly misplaced, or stolen. So I spent the morning remaking the Tardis blue key choker necklace so I can send a replacement out today. While I was at it I made one last one for the shop. It's the last for a while as I used up this thread almost completely. I definitely won't be ordering anymore thread until after the holidays at least, so yep, it's the last one for now.

After that it was back to remaking a pair of ankle corsets and crossing my fingers that more orders would arrive. I had had a custom request overnight the night before last, but the customer has yet to purchase the custom listing or reply to my message so I can probably assume that they've changed their mind. I did get a bracelet order in the evening though and that will give me something to make this afternoon when I finish the ankle corsets. I am quite enjoying being busy and I've taken to reading again while I tat. I finished two novels yesterday alone. They weren't long or particularly complex reads, but it always makes me feel like I accomplished something when I can not only make things, but finish a book at the same time. Let's hope the busy keeps right on coming!

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 25% off with the code HOLIDAY25. Code is good through Nov. 6

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Another

https://www.etsy.com/listing/223772013/tatted-lace-pendant-medallion-hex
Another busy day in the books. I started the day getting all the orders I had over the weekend into the mail. Then it was straight to remaking them for the shop. I started with this Medallion Hex. I designed this one about a year ago I think. I like it better in more than one color, but the one that sold was solid black, so that's the one that I remade.

After that was done it was back to the barefoot sandals I've been
working on. They are a much bigger project so I kept putting them down to do smaller ones. I still haven't relisted them in the shop yet, but I did manage to get them done. After that I still have a pair of ankle corsets to make. I always keep two pairs of them made because they take so long to tat up.

Yesterday wasn't a particularity busy sales day, especially compared to the weekend, but I did sell one necklace. I'll work on getting that one remade today as well as the ankle corsets. I'll also keep posting shameless self promotions all day in an effort to keep the ball rolling. Here's to another busy and productive day!

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 25% off with the code HOLIDAY25. Code is good through Nov. 6

Monday, November 30, 2015

Busy

What a weekend. On Friday we tried to recover from the Thanksgiving feast, but then we followed it with a second dinner with friends. It was a lovely laughter filled night and we stayed up too late and ate too much. Then there was a little shopping and the putting up of all the Christmas decorations over the weekend. In between all that I was so happy to have plenty of tatting to do! I had orders with pieces to remake and one custom order for a particularly lovely repeat customer. That's what this piece here is.

I am starting this week with plenty of pieces that need remaking and I couldn't be more pleased. I'm going to keep working as fast as I can to take advantage of the situation while it lasts. Which reminds me my sale has adjusted to the next percent off, so until next Sunday it's 25% off which is still a really good deal. Now it's off to get to work.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 25% off with the code HOLIDAY25. Code is good through Nov. 6

Friday, November 27, 2015

After

I'm up an writing even earlier than usual. No, it's not because I went shopping. The husband went shopping, confusing the cats into thinking that it was morning an hour earlier than usual, so here I am due to a relentless cat alarm clock.

I'm afraid I have no tatting to show you as I spent the day cleaning, prepping and then finally enjoying family and food for much of the day. My brother is staying with us and my sister and her kids managed to hang around for five hours, so it was nonstop entertainment.

I did sell a couple of bracelets yesterday, so I do have some tatting to get done today. I am of course hoping for more sales this weekend as everyone should be in the mood to shop. I know I'm in the mood, but a lack of sales in my own store means I don't get to. That's okay though I'll make up replacement bracelets and spend the day recovering with my fingers crossed.

I'll leave you with a photo example of the chaos that reined here yesterday. This is my brother carrying one of my sister's daughters and giving her oldest son a piggyback ride at the same time. There was much more of this nonsense and if I hadn't had to do so many dishes, it would have been a perfect day.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 30% off with the code HOLIDAY30. Code is good through Nov. 29

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thank You!

 Vintage vector designed by Freepik
I don't have much to share from yesterday. We headed out and ran some errands just to get out of the house and I crocheted quite a bit as we sat about, in between doing laundry anyway. I don't suppose there are too many people with extra time to read today anyhow, well in the States. The rest of the world is Thursday as usual.

Since it is Thanksgiving around these parts I thought I'd go ahead and say Thank You, to all of you. Thanks for reading, for tatting, for buying my pieces and my patterns. Thanks for commenting and making me feel less like I'm talking to myself. Thank you especially to those of you that I've virtually met through this forum and gotten on with so well. I appreciate all of it!

I'll be back to lamenting over sales and a lack of inspiration tomorrow, oh and cleaning, I'm sure to talk about that too. Maybe I'll even talk about tatting. You never know what the day will bring.


Current Etsy Shop Sale: 30% off with the code HOLIDAY30. Code is good through Nov. 29

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

That's One

Well yesterday's sale launch enticed one person to make a necklace purchase. This gave me something to remake for the shop and I can't tell you how happy I was just to be tatting with purpose. It's not anything new of course. I really miss when I had something that needed tatting everyday. I had to work hard to find time to create anything new. It's been quite some time since that was true around here though. More often than not I'm digging through drawers looking for yarn I've stashed away to give my fingers something to do since I cannot justify buying any craft supplies.

I finished making the necklace so I start today with no projects in queue again. The house is pretty much holiday dinner ready, so I'll dig for more yarn and/or cross my fingers that more folks will stumble upon my sale and get a deal that keeps me busy. I know I can't compete with big box sales, but I can at least make a small effort. Sorry in advance for what will likely be a month long display of shameless self promotion.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 30% off with the code HOLIDAY30. Code is good through Nov. 29

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

SALE

As I was getting ready to write this morning I noticed that apparently yesterday was my 2000th blog post here. Yikes, right? I completely wasted too, no hoopla, nothing interesting at all. Unfortunately I'm not going to redeem myself with this post either.

I didn't do much creative yesterday at all except for making a graphic to announce my holiday sale. Of course that was it's own drama as the free program I usually use decided that it wasn't even going to bother opening anymore. After troubleshooting the problem for far too long, I opted to upgrade to a paid program. That just began a whole new drama as I had to learn to use it as well. I sometimes miss the era of printed instruction booklets. I did get the graphic done, then realized after I posted it everywhere that I messed it up. I then deleted it from everywhere, made another and reposted it. After all that I was definitely done with making anything for the day.
http://totusmel.etsy.com
Here you go though, my Diminishing Returns Holiday Sale. Each week the discount goes down a little, but there's a sale code for every week including the week of Christmas. This week it starts with 30% off with the code HOLIDAY30. The code is good on everything in my etsy shop including patterns. Please do share, shop, and save this season! I'm hoping a sale can revive my sleeping shop and put a little money in the coffers so I can shop for the holidays too.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lost Time

Well, let's see, I did remake the blue choker and got it back up into the shop on Friday. I did not fix the purple one though and for the life of me I can't remember what might have distracted me from doing so at the time.

The rest of the weekend was a complete wash. No sales to encourage me to tat and the release of Jessica Jones on Netflix had the entire family glued to the television for pretty much the whole weekend. While I could have worked on something interesting with all that sitting time, I just knitted fingerless gloves. I could do that without paying much attention to what I was doing. In case you're wondering, yes, we did watch the entire season. Also, yes it was very good.

This week promises to lack as much productiveness as the weekend. two days of schooling followed by vacation for the kids and the husband. Family dinners, house guests and copious amounts of cleaning. I hope I can squeeze in some creativity and I'm also mulling over a sale for my etsy shop. Any opinions on what would get you to shop would be appreciated. Other than that I'm just going to play the week by ear.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tardis Blue

Yesterday morning as I was schooling the kids I had an exchange on my Facebook page that resulted in my making another key choker in what will now be known as Tardis blue. I really can't believe that I hadn't thought of it myself. It seems like an obvious choice now as I am a Doctor Who fan as well. I got it done by late afternoon and as I started the process of getting the green, purple and blue ones ready to list, I realized that I had made a silly error with the purple one. It was too short. I must have counted wrong and into the pile to be fixed, that one went.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/256968599/tatted-lace-choker-necklace-lace-key?
The others went into the shop and the Tardis blue one found it's home quickly with the lovely person who had suggested it in the first place. The green one is still up in the shop and I'm going to try to fix the purple one today and get that listed as well. I'll also likely remake the blue one so it is in the shop too. After that though, I think I might have to stop with this piece for a while. It's getting a bit repetitive and I'm hoping I've got another idea or two hiding in my head. Though this weekend will likely consist of more cleaning to prepare to host the holiday meal on Thursday so who knows if my brain will be on at all. Only time will tell.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

In Red

Even before I started schooling for the day yesterday, I asked over on my Facebook page for color suggestions for the new choker. Thankfully they responded quickly and I started to work while the children learned. In fact I got so many color suggestions that there is literally no way I can make them all. 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/256909486/tatted-lace-choker-necklace-lace-key?
I started with Victorian red and managed to get that one done by the time schooling was over. I then tackled an emerald green, though technically the color is called Christmas green. That one is done as well and I started on a dark purple before the day was over, but back to the gray and red. I got them both photographed and listed in my etsy shop. I listed them at the lowest price I felt comfortable. In fact they are just a dollar more than the simple black, metal-free choker. My sincere hope is that they are the right price to encourage people to buy them as easy gifts.

I have already sold one gray one and I couldn't be happier to send that off this morning. I actually made another gray as well to keep it listed in the shop. I'm going to try to get the purple one done this morning and get both that one and the green one listed after lunch. I've got a few more colors in queue to make and since the only supplies I need for this piece are thread and key charms, I can make them until I run out of keys. I doubt I will, but this should keep me busy until, hopefully, another idea comes along.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I Tatted

I actually got the small white doily done while schooling the kids for the day. While they absolutely need me with them, there are less hands on things I need to do for either of them. This means that I can usually accomplish something else as long as it isn't too distracting. I think the doily is going to work just fine for the crochet trees. Now I just need to decorate the trees a little. I'm not yet sure how I'm going to do so, but I'll come up with something.

I didn't want to work on the decoration yet as I didn't want to waste the tatting momentum I'd gathered working on the doily. Of course I had hoped that a sale would appear or that I would get some complicated and original idea, but neither of those things happened. Instead I had a simple idea and ran with it. I grabbed a ball of charcoal gray thread and a key pendant and came up with this choker.

I made up the piece as I went, but it's hardly complex. I just needed to make sure the math allowed for it to be the right length for a slide closure. I can't call this one metal free because of the pendant, but adding the slide closure meant that I was done without adding any hardware. The plan is to get this in the shop today and hopefully make another in a different color. Any color requests would be gladly received as I am dangerously low on motivation and every comment that encourages me to work on anything is like gold right now. I usually rely on sales to keep me focused and without them I'm a bit rudderless, if you couldn't tell by the recent parade of crochet and knitting. Crossing my fingers yet again for some change.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Little Trees

Nothing interesting happened yesterday, nor did I get any ideas of any value.There was schooling followed by me trying to fix our malfunctioning gas fireplace. I think I may have failed on the last point, though it did get a good cleaning regardless. When I finally sat down to do something creative I ended up crocheting little cone shaped trees. I'm thinking of making little displays to give away to the family. I figured I can add little beads or something as decoration. This did however, lead me back to some tatting. I thought the piece could use a doily under it to pull it together. To that end I started tatting up the small doily version of my Gothic doily. This time in size 20 white thread.
I still have quite a few more rounds to go on it, but when it's done it should fit under all the little trees. Then I'll decorate them and perhaps give them to relatives on Thanksgiving, because giving holiday decorations on the holiday is perhaps one of the more pointless things I can think of. I'm also hoping that getting some tatting done will get my brain thinking about designing. I need to do something to get people shopping in my store again. I sold a couple of patterns yesterday, which I am thankful for, but they are definitely not the finished pieces I need to sell. Oh well, off to the day then with fingers crossed.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Weekend Making

Unfortunately the weekend did nothing to alleviate the tatting slump I'm in. My shop stayed mercilessly quiet and I found other fiber arts with which to occupy my sitting time. Of course I had less sitting time that I would have liked as we continued cleaning out the garage on Saturday. I also tackles more cleaning inside the house in a feeble attempt to keep it clean for the upcoming holidays. More cleaning now means less then, maybe.

What I did do was finish the knit triangle scarf. The second time was charm. I knit it on rather large needles the drape was much, much better this go. It was also significantly larger with the same amount of yarn. I'm just glad it's finally done.

On Saturday afternoon, after the cleaning and some rest, I actually browsed through pages of patterns on Ravelry looking for something to make. I settled on a crochet bag that I could hand on our coat rack and keep all our fingerless gloves in. Yes, I crocheted something to keep all the things I already knitted it. I used this pattern, though I mucked with it a lot. I added some rounds. Then I decided to trim the bottom with a scallop, you know since I still had some yarn left in the skein. Though I realize that you can't see said scallop in this picture. When it hands on the coat rack, it's perfectly visible.

So that's it then. No sales in the shop for over a week now. No tatting ideas and I'm starting to run out of extra stash yarn to play with. The house is even clean, so I can't distract myself with that either. Here's hoping something changes really, really soon.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Elephant

I started the day just working on the knit triangle scarf, but halfway through schooling we took a look at the calendar. There was one more kid's birthday before Christmas that needed a gift. The kids assured me that an elephant would be perfect, so I made one.

I found the pattern on Ravelry here. Yet again I managed to find one that needed no sewing at all. Those are my favorite ones. Funny thing is I don't mind sewing, I just like to not have to do it while crocheting or knitting. It took much of the day to get this one put together though. There was a little complicated short row nonsense in creating the trunk and head, but it turned out so nice it was worth the extra effort.

After I finished the elephant it was back to knitting the scarf. It's been a couple of days since any sale in my shop and a few more than that since any actual pieces were sold, so I'm quickly sliding back into a tatting funk. I was hoping that the creating and posting the patterns would jump start sales or just my creativity, but it seems I was wrong on both counts. Here's hoping the weekend brings winds of change.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ugh

Let's see, I really didn't do much yesterday. The husband had the day off and the children didn't have school either so we ran some errands and watched some television together. While I sat I finished the triangle scarf I was making, realized that it was awful and then unraveled it. Sometimes following patterns exactly as written is just the wrong thing to do.

I did start over on the scarf. This time I used much larger needles and it seems to be working up much nicer. I can already tell that it will lie better, or is that lay better? How about, it will clearly drape better.

I'll keep working on this while I wait for a better idea. Of course last time I waited for a better idea, I wrote up yesterday's pattern for the blog. If I keep doing that to cure boredom I'll probably never sell another piece in the shop. I definitely need to focus more and making some money especially given the time of year. So here's to a busy shop and busy hands sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Threes Snowflake Pattern

I had very little creative energy yesterday, so instead of trying to make something new, I decided that I would spend some time putting together the most recent version of my threes snowflake pattern for you. Yep, a free pattern completely out of the blue. It's a simple one, but it's also a really easy introduction to weaving chains if you haven't tried it yet. I hope you enjoy it. I also hope I have a better day today.

 Threes Snowflake Pattern

(abbreviations: r-ring, lr-large ring, ds-double stitch, p-picot, lp-long picot, cl-close, rw-reverse work)

lr 3ds p 3ds p 6ds p 2ds p 6ds p 3ds p 3ds cl rw
ch 8ds cl do not rw
r 4ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 4ds cl do not rw
ch 8ds cl rw
r 3ds join to 2nd to last p of previous lr 3ds p 3ds cl rw
ch 8ds cl do not rw
r 4ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 4ds cl do not rw
ch 8ds cl rw
lr 3ds p 3ds join to p of previous r 6ds join to p of previous lr 2ds p 6ds p 3ds p 3ds cl rw
ch 8ds cl do not rw
r 4ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 4ds cl do not rw
ch 8ds cl rw
r 3ds join to 2nd to last p of previous lr 3ds p 3ds cl rw
ch 8ds cl do not rw
r 4ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 4ds cl do not rw
ch 8ds cl rw
lr 3ds p 3ds join to p of previous r 6ds join to p of previous lr 2ds join to p from 1st lr 6ds p 3ds p 3ds cl rw
ch 8ds cl do not rw
r 4ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 4ds cl do not rw
ch 8ds cl rw
r 3ds join to 2nd to last p of previous lr 3ds join to p of 1st lr 3ds cl rw
ch 8ds cl do not rw
r 4ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 4ds cl do not rw
ch 8ds join to 1st ring, tie, cut and hide ends.

Woven chain

join thread to free picot of large ring
ch 8ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 8ds weave over 8ds chain and under next 8ds chain join to picot of next free picot
cut approximately 75” of thread off ball for easier weaving at this point
repeat chain 5 times weaving over and under chains as shown.

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 really do hope that you like the surprise pattern. I figured maybe after a little chain weaving more folks might pop over to my shop and pick up the Gothic Doily pattern to try some more. Or maybe they'll just be more tatted snowflakes in the world.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Knit

I stalled for a really long time yesterday hoping that something would come up, a sale, an idea, something. Of course nothing did and even though I had laundry to do and a few other domestic tasks to attend to I started feeling the dreaded boredom. I tried thinking of something new to tat, but I was coming up blank. Instead I browsed through Ravelry looking for patterns that might fit the yarn I have on hand. I landed on a small triangle shawl shaped scarf.

 I'm nowhere near done with it, which is good. That gives me something to do with my hands while I wait for a sale or an idea. I actually think that if this one turns out good, it might make a nice gift for the one niece that was not feeling the crochet cardigan. Of course I'd buy fresh yarn for her, but first I have to finish this one. It's really hard to tell how it'll look when it's still on the needles because of the weird construction of triangle scarves.

That's all I've got then. I'll knit until something comes up. Oh, thanks to all of you out there who have picked up my new pattern. I know I priced it a bit on the high side, but it was definitely the longest one I've ever written. I hope you feel like it's worth it and I can't wait to see everyone's work from it.

Monday, November 9, 2015

New Pattern Listed!

So I actually can't remember if I got round to doing anything worth while on Friday. Oh wait, that's right I used the time to clean again. This time I tackled the children's ever expanding Lego collection that was being overtaken by dust bunnies courtesy of the cats.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/255199828/pdf-tatting-pattern-gothic-doily-pendant?
Saturday's projects were many, but let me start with the one might care about. The new tatting pattern was finished being test tatted by the lovely Kersti. After being given several incredible and useful notes with which to improve the pattern, I got it edited and up in the shop. I'm calling it Gothic Doily, though the pattern contains directions for stopping in order to create the pendant and the smaller doily version as well. I've been assured that it can be worked with a shuttle as well and since all the weaving is done with chains, you may not even need a Celtic shuttle to do so. I have already sold a few copies of this, so that's a good sign. It's my longest written pattern yet and I sure hope everyone who picks it up loves making it!

Other Saturday projects included cleaning up half the garage which gave me nightmare juice as well as some high quality allergy attacks. Then by way of relaxing afterwards I made up this cute little crochet pig as a birthday gift for one of my nieces. The pattern is here. The top hat was my addition. Well it was mine after the husband continued to insist that the pig needed a sombrero. I insisted it didn't, repeatedly. Then he changed his tactic to top hat and I finally caved and made one up. I admit, it looks extra cute with a hat.

Sunday was the great winter wardrobe change for the girls. Old outgrown clothes were put boxed up, winter clothes that still fit brought out and summer put away. I also earned more lovely allergy attacks from the boxed clothes. Before you ask yes I had taken allergy medication before both cleaning jobs. The allergens just proved stronger. All this gave me great exhaustion last night and I slept like a log.

 I'm hoping that this week will contain no cleaning and plenty of making. I got another sale in the shop over the weekend, though it was for something that I don't need to remake. That means i am starting this week with no projects in mine. Of course I've been managing to keep myself busy regardless. Here's hoping I don't need to think too hard to do so.

Friday, November 6, 2015

This and That

https://www.etsy.com/listing/254837547/tatted-lace-snowflake-ornament-holiday?First thing after schooling yesterday I got the new snowflakes finished, photographed and listed. I only made four of them and I was going to sit down and make more, just in case, but I realized I would just be setting myself up for having dozens of them sitting around here. I will instead just leave them be until someone actually purchases a few. I have them listed as both single and sets of three, so hopefully I'll at least sell a few this year.

I did also get a sale yesterday. Not a huge one, but I'll take what I can get. It was for my tatted Weave ring, but in the larger size that I offer, so I had something else to make for the day anyway. Once this was made I had again nothing left that needed doing really.

I found some more scrap yarn and crocheted up yet another
octopus. Man, do I hope that the kids in the family like these, because it is clear everyone is getting one for the holidays. Hell, at this point even the adults might end up with them. I even picked up some actual doll eyes so I could upgrade from the little buttons.

So again I start the day with no vital tasks, but I will keep my fingers busy somehow. I'm just hoping that two days in two days is the start of something and not just a fluke. The pressure to make money during the holidays is very real.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

That Was A Day

Schooling was a bit distracted yesterday as we were glued to the news coming in about our local University experiencing a campus stabbing. Certainly we're getting used to news like this, but not when it's just a few miles away and we have friends working and teaching on campus. Thankfully it ended quickly and much less tragically than similar events, but it does leave everyone with a feeling of unease for awhile.

It was a bit after schooling when I had just started contemplating what to get to making when I got an order in the shop. It was such a relieve to not only have finally sold a Romanian lace necklace, but also to have a small piece that needed to be custom made. This is my Flourish pendant made in Lizbeth harvest orange thread.

I think that working on this small piece finally put me in the mood to tat something. I decided that I was actually going to put some snowflakes in my shop this year. I searched through the many different ones I've made and designed over the years and settled on one from last year. I didn't want it to be just the same so I started playing with it. I guess since I've been doing so much weaving lately, it's not shocking that I went for a a little weaving to change it up. I also opted to use both white and a very light gray for a bit of a contrast.

I ended by adding a bit of glitter to both add some dimension to the
piece and stiffen it for hanging. I'm not certain whether it will be better to list them individually or as a set, but the plan is to get hooks on them today and get them in the shop. Then I'll cross my fingers and hope they're appealing enough to sell. Here's hoping!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Octopuses

So, I didn't get any sales in the shop yesterday and I certainly didn't have any awesome tatting ideas. What did I do with my time then? Well, I had leftover yearn from the gifts I'd recently made. Just enough of each color to make something small and adorable. I picked small and adorable octopuses to make with my time. The big one was made with this pattern. I chose it because it was a no-sew pattern and like most things I make, I want them to be done when I stop crocheting, or knitting, or tatting. I don't want to have to assemble a bunch of things.

The small one I made up myself using the same basic method as the larger one. I still had a little yarn left and the oldest daughter had a small one similar to it that we bought at the Ren Faire a couple of years back, so I tried to copy it by eye. I got close, but not exact.

As nothing else was happening to break the crochet streak, I continued making octopuses all day long. I figure I'll add them to the gifts going to nieces and nephews. That's right, people will suffer handmade gifts this year. Most of the leftover yarn wasn't enough to make an extra small one, but I'm certain there are more scraps around here somewhere and barring anything else important coming up, I'll just keep right on making these. I really do hope something more interesting or important does come up though.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Almost Done

After schooling yesterday I got to work on the transferring the Gothic doily pattern from text to PDF with pretty with pictures. Of course I also decided to use a different program for it and so I had to fiddle around and teach myself how to use it in this manner as well. All this learning and mucking about made this project last the entire day. I almost forgot to eat lunch I was so focused on getting it put together. In fact I did forget I was doing laundry until I was headed upstairs for the night and then I had to rush about to finish it before bed.

The result of all this is that the pattern is done pending test tatting. It is with someone right now and should hopefully be available for sale in my shop within the week. That is unless I complete botched writing out the pattern and it needs a complete reboot. I wish I could say that that is not a possibility, but it very clearly is.

I was going to post the picture I took for the front of the pattern, but I think I'll just save that for when it's ready to post the pattern. I don't want you to get sick of seeing it. So I'm starting today with absolutely no projects on hand. No tatting, knitting, crochet, Armenian lace, or anything else creative. So here's to a sale in the shop or a creative idea in my head to get me back to my favorite state of busy.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Weekend

https://twitter.com/TotusMel/status/660210265502318592My goodness, what an incredibly long and busy weekend. Friday started with schooling, then it was a bout of afternoon cleaning to prepare for guests on Saturday afternoon for my mom's birthday. I got to take a break from cleaning to get the kids ready to visit their father's work where they trick or treat every year. I took this picture of them before we left. I also posted this on twitter Friday as well, more on that in a minute. We spent some time at the afore mentioned rick or treating, then it was an evening of cleaning, mostly floors.

Saturday was early morning errands, last minute party prep, followed by a house full of people and food. That was in turn followed my more cleaning and a little afternoon rest before costumes were again donned. We headed to our friends' house to spend the evening with them and trick or treat in their neighborhood.

It was a nice long night with wine and good conversation. They even took a nice family photo of us before we went out. Of course my husband is hidden behind his paper craft mask. He spent weeks working on that thing. It turned out pretty good, though he complained about it's discomfort the whole time we were out.

Oh, one last thing, Saturday morning that picture of the kids got retweeted by Marvel and the kids got to be internet famous in a small circle of people for brief moment in time. It was just kind of cute so I thought I'd share that as well. Sunday, well we mostly just tried to recover from Halloween and the time change. The cats don't believe it changed and are insisting that I continue to wake up at what was the original wake up time. I'm going to have to baby step them to the new time. Until then I suffer.

I'll be working on the Gothic doily tatting pattern today and hopefully it should be ready to get in the shop in the next day or so. Other than that I have nothing else to work on since I did manage to finish the last circle cardigan gift while I recovered on Sunday. So here's to something new and interesting needing to be made by me soon.