Friday, February 27, 2015


As I had guessed in the morning, my purchasing of supplies did seem to jinx the day for sales. No matter though, I still had tasks on hand and I got both of them mostly finished. Instead of starting with the barefoot sandal I went ahead and got the linen earrings tatted. They spent the night getting stiffened and will be ready for their ear-wires this morning. I should have them in the shop today. The black linen thread is slightly more uniform than the gray shades, so these ones seemed to work up faster, albeit with the same padded look.

After that was done and in between news of escaping llamas and a dress whose color is apparently witchcraft, I also got the other barefoot sandal made and up and back into the shop. I'm hoping to get some sales in today because I got really used to being busy and all I have left to make is maybe the linen earrings in the last color I have, dark gray. After that I'm twisting in the wind. I'm sure I'll think of something.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


It might seem impossible, or perhaps just improbable, but right before schooling the kids yesterday I got two more orders in my etsy shop. Yep, and I was working on making up the black linen earrings at the time as well. So not only was a working on what I said I was going to do, I was also granted an unlikely repeat of the day before. I guess crossing fingers in text works better than I thought.

So I had plenty to work on after schooling. I started with this beaded, woven bracelet. It's a fiddly one to make not only because it has the woven chains which require that I work with a cut piece of thread, but also the base has lock chains that like to twist the ball thread. That mostly means that this bracelet takes twice as long to tat up as another it's size and length, but without those details. I also like it about twice as much as the others I've done in similar sizes.

Even though it takes twice as long, it's still just a small bracelet, so soon I was onto the next piece. This one is much bigger, a pair of barefoot sandals. Not the usual pair that I've remade so many times I could probably make them with my eyes closed. No, these ones are much larger and I think I might have made this design twice, ever. So it definitely required a lot more concentration and at this point I've only managed to finish one of the pair.

Today's tasks include the second barefoot sandal and getting back to the black linen earrings.  I actually made a supply order yesterday since I had had enough sales in a row to justify finally doing so. If I hadn't there would be a lot of necklaces without clasps and earrings without ear-wires in my lace pile very soon. Of course the very fact that I ordered supplies will probably preclude me having another repeat day of sales today, but I'm going to go ahead and cross my fingers for it again anyway. This working on tatting all day long thing has been a treat.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Busy had a blissfully busy day yesterday. For some inexplicable reason I received more than one order of actual tatting yesterday. So I busied myself much of the day remaking the pieces that sold, but I'm getting ahead of myself a bit. Right after schooling. I put together the new motif in linen with its ear wires. They are definitely bigger earrings than I would usually wear, but they do have that whole lightweight thing going for them. I fully intended to get them made in the black linen thread as well, but as I already mentioned I was kept rather busy with remaking what sold.

The first one I remade was a necklace that had actually sold the day before and then after that I tatted up this cuff bracelet in my version of the classic Hen and Chicks pattern. I add Victorian sets where the thread spaces usually live, and I like to double the pattern over on itself so it's less of an edging and more of a standalone piece. I wasn't even done there though I was dealing with an aggravated shoulder. I must've wrenched it the day before, but I can't for the life of me remember what it is that I did. Anyway, I made up one last necklace after this and that was the end of my day.

I'm all caught up on the pieces that sold now, so unless I'm blessed with the same sort of day I had yesterday(crossing fingers), I'll get the earrings made in the black linen and possibly the dark gray as well. Since the linen thread isn't my favorite to work with, it's best to get it knocked out all at once and then got back to smooth, soft cotton thread again. Though honestly, as long as I'm busy, I'm not going to least not too much.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Linen Thread

I was surprisingly productive yesterday. As soon as schooling was over I was making sure the laundry was going, taking photos of the medallions turned into pendants and getting them listed in the shop along with a bunch of other small tasks. It was like a mini whirlwind until around noon.

After lunch, I worked on remaking a small pair of earrings that sold and then I was bored for a minute. I decided to get out a giant ball of organic linen thread and just play for awhile. When I first bought the linen thread I had high hopes of using it all the time, but it's just fiddly to work with. It's rough and can be quite uneven with occasional lumps. If I work it with the smaller, more appropriately sized needle, those bumps are impossible barriers to finishing a piece. I choose to work it with a needle a bit too large which leaves me with that padded looking lace that seems to be the reason folks find needle tatting inferior to the shuttle. All that aside though, I have tons of it so I decided to experiment a bit.

I worked up the new medallion and then added another round. I think initially, I was going to keep going and work it up into a doily of sorts, but I kind of liked it at this size even though it took away the hexagon shape of the original design. I thought maybe it would make a nice pair of big earrings. I made another and got them stiffened last night since the larger needle makes them floppier than I like for earrings. They should be ready for hardware this morning and I should get them in the shop. I also have this same linen thread in black and a darker gray, so maybe I'll do a couple more pairs if nothing else has presented itself to be done.

Monday, February 23, 2015


Well I got a lot of tatting done on Friday, but nothing made it into the shop. This is mostly due to the gloomy weather that precluded taking decent photographs, and partly because I was feeling particularly lazy over the weekend. Back to the tatting though, I started by adjusting some small details of the medallion I've been working on. Though I liked the longer chains in the outer round, they made the piece a little too unpredictable. I shortened them and the result was a more compact and polished piece.

The next thing I did was play with colors. I tried to ask for color suggestions, but I was getting no feedback at the time, so I just grabbed the thread on top of the pile. Yellows and oranges are definitely not my go to colors, but they did demonstrate clearly how colors would play out. I couldn't leave it there though and since I was clearly not getting them ready for the shop yet, I dug deep in my box of thread and pulled out the purples. They are definitely more to my liking. I finished up the day with grays, but never managed to get any of them in the shop over the weekend.

The rest of the weekend was just family adventuring. The oldest child got an extreme haircut. I stained and painted a memorial box for my cat Shade's ashes. The children had me make necklaces out of pendants they got from Michaels when they were out with their grandma. There was a lot of making over the weekend, even a small pendant that was ordered was tatted up, but I still felt really lazy. I should hopefully get all these medallions turned into pendants and listed in the shop today. I just have to rely on a little sun breaking though, so here's hoping for that and a little more motivation.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Medallions couch bound day meant more television shows removed from the DVR after watching and more tatting accomplished. First I finished up the collar necklace I was working on yesterday. It's an old design that I've made for years after adapting it from a 1940's era collar pattern. Lots of other tatters have had the same idea over the years of course, but I still like my version. It's one of the few pieces I make that must have some Swarovski crystals and rounds to be just right.

After that was done I struggled with what to remake next. I know there are more pieces in my sold out items that I should get back in the shop, but nothing stuck my fancy. I kind of wanted something to jump off the page at me and nothing did, so I decided to do a little tatted doodling.

I rarely start these sort of things with a plan, I usually just start tatting and see what happens. Not that the world needs any more tatted medallions, but that's clearly what I ended up making. Sometimes I wish I was a doily person, because I think I could design tons of those. Of course they wouldn't be anything I would likely be able to sell in my shop though. Anyway, I'll probably make this up in another color or two and hopefully get it listed in the shop as a pendant after I fiddle a bit with the stitch count I think. At least I have a little bit of a plan for the day.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Couch Bound

After schooling yesterday, we were pretty much couch bound. The injury the oldest child managed to acquire via the asphalt the night before, was pretty angry at her. The best was to keep her from making it worse was to keep her on the couch as much as possible. She's generally very active, so it was a bit of a challenge. The one thing being on the couch all afternoon enabled was the watching of television shows backed up on the DVR.

The secondary effect was that while watching those show I had more time to tat. I looked through my sold out items on etsy and found a few that I could start with. I opted for the bigger of them and started work on one of my large collar necklaces. I'm nowhere near finished with this one. I figured it would be nice to have a multiple day spanning project. Of course right after I took this picture, I got up to run upstairs. In the process I managed to slam my forearm into the newel post at the bottom of the stairs. The result of that fine display of grace was that my whole arm from my elbow to my hand hurt for much of the rest of the day. Typing hurt bad enough, but there was no way I was tatting the rest of the day.

The arm feels much better this morning though it's definitely still a bit sore, so I guess I finish the collar necklace today. I will also try to not further injure myself, though I'm certain we are couch bond for most of the week and tat should help. Here's to an injury free rest of the week and how about some good luck from the Universe too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Long Day

Apparently I needed to clean yesterday on some fundamental level, because as soon as schooling was done I was vacuuming the upstairs and mopping. This was immediately followed by putting together a new water fountain for the cats. Their old was had given up the ghost just before Shade passed and we'd ordered a new one online. Its arrival led to cleaning the space on the floor where their food bowls live and then before I realized it, it was lunchtime.

After lunch I got some reading in while waiting for a mail person to come to the house to fix a package mix-up. It was nice to get back to reading since the weekend sucked my desire to quietly read away. Then once the mail issue was remedied I got some tatting in. I was just continuing to remake this choker, but that was a good thing. There's not much as meditative and soothing as working a familiar, repetitive pattern.

The day ended with a small celebration of my niece's birthday. It was going swimmingly, with the kids playing with their cousins and their neighbors outside, then my oldest child ate asphalt. Well, her knees did anyway. That was pretty much the end of the joy and the visit. She'll be fine, but I'm thinking a nice knee scar is in her future.

I don't have any projects lined up yet for today. The shop is still very quiet, but there are still a few pieces that I could remake if inspiration continues to stay away. I would definitely prefer some inspiration, or a few sales. Either one will do really. Anything, but more cleaning.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Staying Busy

If there's one thing that keeps my mind occupied, it's doing all the things. Yesterday morning started with cleaning. I vacuumed, mopped floors, and did the laundry. This was quickly followed by the whole family running errands until lunch. That was immediately followed by all of us heading out to the front yard to pull all the winter weeds up and cut back unruly plants. There was a bit of a break after that as we all kind of collapsed from the effort for a bit. Then we got up and went on a nice long walk. All of this kept me off the internet most of the day and kept me from wallowing as well.

I do want to thank everyone for their kind and supportive comments though, I did read those as I finally sat down in the evening. I also pulled out my thread because I needed to continue to be busy. I'm about halfway through remaking a choker necklace that matches the last bracelet I remade. I still have the top row left to complete on it which will give me something to do once schooling is over today. I'm also sorely tempted to continue cleaning the house as I only managed to get the first floor done yesterday. Of course my mood could shift quickly since I am certainly sore from yesterday's efforts. Either way, I'll try to stay busy.

Monday, February 16, 2015


Well, I had a bit of an emotional weekend. Not most of it, most of the weekend was lovely really. I managed to get most of my custom order made up. It's a pair of barefoot sandals in pink and black. They do take a while to make not only because there are two of them, but also because there are just so many small bits to create and then tat together. This is why I generally prefer a piece that can be made in one or two passes with little cutting and tying.

Then there was a nice family Valentine's day on Saturday complete with adventuring, a nice walk, and ending with pizza and a movie. Then came Sunday and it's emotional ending.

Our oldest cat has been getting sickly for some time. He was once a fluffy, yet scrawny little cat named Shade, but as the years wore on he'd become just scrawny and a little sad looking. The picture is him at about 4 years old. We knew it was time to take him to the vet as he'd been getting worse the last few weeks spending much of his time on my lap. We made plans to do so this morning, but we were too late and he passed away in evening. He was 17, it was a long cat life and we knew it was coming, but it was the first time I'd had a large pet die at home. So I had a hard time sleeping and I'm still a little out of it this morning feeling sad and guilty.

The husband has today off and I'm still bummed, so I'm not sure that I'll get up to anything useful, though it might be good to distract myself with lace a bit. There are still 5 cats around here, so that helps too. Well, here's to making it though.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Still Tatting

Another day full of tatting. I know, I can hardly believe it myself. The oldest child finished the novel she was reading for school and I think just having the television on after that put me in the mood for lace making. Seriously, I just seem to concentrate on making better when there is passive entertainment around me. I got a pair of white barefoot sandals made up first. Actually these I made while the child was still reading, so I started yet another novel. She finished reading about the same time I finished making. I'm trying to stop and take pictures just to lively up these posts even though they don't look great unpressed.

Once the television was back on, I was remaking a bracelet that sold quite some time ago. The matching necklace sold as well, so I had to use my listing photos to remind me of the pattern. Unless I've made something dozens of times, I tend to forget the exact patterns. Luckily all I usually need to remember is those pictures. Anyway, this one took a couple of shows to finish and after that I was going to start on the necklace, but I got a custom order in the shop. You have no idea how happy I was to get one of those!

So today I have that custom order to work on and then it's back to the remaking. The husband has today off work, but the kids still have schooling so it might be a weird one. I'm still going to try and keep tatting all weekend though. I need to get back into the habit and hopefully this will encourage the Universe to send some more sales my way as well.

One final note for today. I was just reading Jane's blog this morning and was reminded of the anniversary of Gina's passing. I couldn't let the day pass by without mentioning something of the influence she had on me. Her encouraging comments and emails were so wonderful to me and I don't think I will ever forget those, so here's to the Tatting Goddess!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Look, I Tatted

You will never guess what I actually did yesterday. I actually tatted for a good portion of the day and I actually got some things made and back in my shop. Oh, and I did it all while still managing to ready all day. I finished yesterday's novel even before I started schooling the kids for the day. I wasn't going to read anymore so I could focus on tatting, but I guess I couldn't help myself. While tatting up this choker necklace I read one novella. Then when I was working on remaking a mask, I read another novella.

I was actually trying to clean some things out of my kindle app that I had downloaded and never read.  I had a nasty habit of doing that when I didn't think I had the time to read. I think I have a few more odds and ends hiding in my account, so that's what I'll keep reading while tatting. I really got on a roll yesterday and since there are still several pieces that I have yet to remake for the shop, I'm going to focus on that for a bit. Etsy has a new tool that allows you to see at a glace how much any one piece has sold and the value of those sales, so I'm spending some time letting under-performing pieces disappear and remaking the ones that I really should always have in the shop because they sell well. Sure, it's not the most artistic or creative way to choose what to make, but anything that might help sales is what I'm going to do at this point.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I bet you're getting tired of seeing me write that I haven't done what I set out to do. I've just gotten so pulled into this idea of spending my days reading while the kids are reading. It's quiet and for some reason I seem to tat better when there is noise about. I've actually lost count of the number of books I've read recently. In fact I should finish yet another novel today.

I did get an order in during schooling yesterday, but I haven't sent it out yet. The customer indicated a need for it to be shipped quickly, so I responded immediately asking if they would like to upgrade shipping. No response. I didn't want to put it in the mail and then immediately hear them say, yes. Since I didn't hear back all day, the package is still waiting to go out this morning. I certainly won't wait any longer though. It should still arrive within their deadline by regular mail. I do need to remake the necklace sold though and I intend to actually do that today. It's nothing you haven't seen before, but I'm hoping just the act of tatting in the afternoon again will start to pull me out of the new reading routine. Here's hoping!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

It was quite a lovely day yesterday. As soon as the bulk of schooling was done I got the newest bracelet finished with a clasp, took photos of it, and got it listed in the shop. I even pulled out another project to work on and then it was lunch time. During lunch we went out into the backyard and the sight of it full of winter fed weeds made me want to come out and pull weeds. I know, I know, it was a bad idea. I'm sitting here right now with an incredibly sore back and legs and after three buckets full of weeds, you probably couldn't tell that I did a thing.

After all that physical labor, I opted to read the afternoon away. The oldest is still reading her novel for school and it is taking her many hours a day to do so. The television stays off to keep it from distracting her, so I not only finished the Kindle First novel I mentioned yesterday, but a second one as well. Yep, I finished two novels in one day. Well, I was halfway through the first one, so more like one and a half novels in one day. If I can avoid the urge to do yard work today perhaps I can get back to some tatting. Damn sunshine is so nice, but I have lace work I should do.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Weekend Recap

Ah Monday, if nothing else you always seem to remind me of how much I didn't get done over the weekend. I mean, I did things, but honestly all this reading, while soothing to my soul, does not make me feel like I accomplished anything as there is nothing concrete to show for my efforts. I did finish reading Station Eleven, excellent book, and I read another comic book series all the way through. After that I started yet another novel. This time it was on of those Kindle First books that they offer for free before they release. I think I'm almost finished with that one as well. I only tell you all this because writing it out is the closest thing I have to that concrete evidence that I accomplished something like I mentioned before.

Other than reading there was the usual family adventuring and occasional movie watching with the kids. I did mange to finish one craft related project. I had been knitting a cowl for my daughter because she asked for one after I finished mine. I told her no initially, changed my mind and didn't tell her I was knitting for her. It's been a couple of weeks, but I got it finished and at least there's something to show for it. Of course I didn't bother taking any photographic proof, but it exists in the world.

Hopefully the sun will come out today and it will inspire me to finish all those half done tatting projects sitting on my table. At least then I'd have something to take a picture of to liven up tomorrow's post. Crossing my fingers for inspiration, or sales...sales would be great too.

Friday, February 6, 2015


As expected, I didn't get around to any tatting nor any tatting related tasks. We did school a little early to get ready for the kids outing. We then spent the rest of the morning at Merced National Wildlife Refuge. Seriously, I had never seen so many birds all in one place. We all got binoculars to peer though the fog, but as the fog lifted you didn't them them to see the huge flocks of cranes, herons, and countless waterfowl. We had a great time and vowed to back in the spring when they get an entirely different population of birds.

The fog was completely gone in town and I was greeted by this flower in my front yard that apparently thinks it's spring already. The rest of the day was reading while the oldest daughter read her novel for school. The television makes it harder for her to read, so I've just been reading when she does. I suppose I could have tatted in the evening, but I wasn't feeling like it.

Today I'm hoping to, at the very least, get the bracelet I showed you yesterday up in the etsy shop. I'm not sure what I'll get up to the rest of the weekend. A rain storm is suppose to come through and stay until Monday. It's desperately needed, but we just got the sun back from the fog and I'm going to miss it. It could give me some tatting time though, we'll see.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Another long morning of schooling. Well really it's the end part where the child reads that makes it so long, but that's fine. I managed to finish reading another comic book series I was woefully behind on  and I've started reading Station Eleven at the suggestion of Fox. It's a much easier read than that last trilogy I read. Strangely both the comic and the book and one television show I'm watching are all set with a killer virus destroying people at the beginning. I'm not sure that means anything, it's just weird is all.

Anyway, I did get to a little tatting. Not as much as I should have though. I decided to try to turn the new design into a bracelet. It did take a little fiddling to not only lengthen the design, which I did with simple split rings, but also to reduce the bend in the center a bit. It has been suggested that it could be a beginning of a slave bracelet, but I don't think the simple design would survive tacking another section onto it across the hand. It was also suggested that it looks a bit like a headpiece and I am tempted to try that out. It would probably need to be slightly larger and definitely longer and I think that I would need to put a shiny of some sort in the center ring.

Unfortunately I probably won't even get around to getting this in the shop today. let alone work on new pieces. We have an school outing with the kids to a local nature reserve which will likely suck a good chunk of the day away. At least we'll be getting outside on a relatively nice day, which is supposed to be followed by days of rain. At least that's what we're all hoping in our drought stricken area of the country. Either way, sounds like I'll have a few tatting days soon.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Dark Queen

Schooling seemed to go one forever yesterday. The oldest child had to start reading a novel and since it's homeschool, that doesn't get assigned as homework. Of course that gave me time to read my own book. Since the back quarter of book I'm reading was quite the page turner, I finished it yesterday. The Prince of Nothing trilogy has been entirely consumed. Never mind that the author is currently writing the third book of the next trilogy that follows this one. The family is trying to convince me to just wait until that last one is done before I start to read the first two. I do have plenty of comics to catch up on and I probably need to remove myself from that world a bit.
After all that I did get my new necklace in the shop. My daughter named it for me, The Dark Queen. She said it reminded her of a medieval hairstyle. I told her it reminded me of Maleficent's horns, so she called it the dark queen. She is incredibly pleased that I went with her name. I asked on facebook, what other colors I should make it. The first response I saw was variegated, so I grabbed the first one I could find in my pile and made one up. I honestly done like it much. The construction of the piece just doesn't lend itself to the changing colors, the split work makes it flow wrong, so I don't think I'll be doing that again.

I did make another up in a solid purple, but I didn't snag a photo of that one. I might get it in the shop today, or just share the photo and see what people think. I'm also toying with the idea of making this an anklet or maybe bracelet. I'll need to play with some changes and it might need to be stiffened more to work, but I guess I have a bit of a plan at least.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Since I had just one last day off before schooling begins again, I used my best stalling powers to avoid doing anything productive. The morning was spent reading and lounging, but by lunch time I actually wanted to do something. I certainly didn't want to make the other ankle corset like I should though, so instead I doodled some lace up. I wasn't sure what I was going to make, so I started with loose split chains and eventually joined them up for what I can only describe as a sort of sea shell. This is about when I had an actual idea.

I took the basic structure I created and added a second one to the other side. It took some creative thinking to get all the pieces to look like I wanted them to. It's funny how sometimes the simplest product can have such a complicated beginning. Anyway, after some stitch changes and some tension fixing, I ended up with this necklace. I added some thick, but very light black chain to the sides and I was done. I had toyed around with adding a dangle to the center, but in the end, the clean line won out.

So today after schooling, I'll get this up in the shop. I might also play around with other things I might do with this new technique. Okay, it's probably not actually new at all, but it's new to me. so I'm going to play with it. I might even bust out some colored thread and make a few of these up with it mostly to cement the skill. Either way, I have plenty more things to stall with now. I may never finish those big pieces now.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Weekend Recap

This is one of those mornings when I should have probably just chosen not to write anything, but then again, you know I can't just not write on a weekday. Why should I have not written, you ask? I clearly have nothing tatting related to relay. I spent a lazy weekend with knitting and reading.

Well, on Friday I did make up a bracelet that had sold in the shop, because I actually wanted to make that bracelet. I did that while I caught up on recorded television shows. Then once that was done I just couldn't be bothered to go back and make the other ankle corset. This is the problem with bigger projects, I get so lazy when I don't have any results for too long. I like projects that can fly off my needle.

The rest of the weekend was family adventuring, reading the last novel in the trilogy that has taken over my brain, and digging through boxes of back comics looking for the complete run of a series so that the oldest daughter could read it. Talk about an archeological expedition, but I did find all but one of the ones I was looking for.

Now we have just today left of our end of semester vacation. Tomorrow it's back to the old routine. I don't really know if I'll manage to kick myself back to work, but I suppose I should get back to it. I just never remember how much I like a bit of a break from everything until I actually get one.