Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Little Luck

I had a wonderfully busy day yesterday. After schooling me and the kids jogged and walked for a spell and then I sat down to work. I got the pattern written up for tomorrow and it's ready to go. I still need to get the listing ready for the sale pendant, but that's just a couple more pictures and some listing details. So this is your reminder that tomorrow is International Tatting Day and I will have the new pendant available for a special one day only price, the patterns will also be slightly discounted tomorrow only. So you might want to make some time to pop by the shop sometime before I wake up on Thursday and change the prices back!

I also got a pleasant surprise as I was tatting up a pair of ankle corsets so I'd have two pairs on hand, the other available pair sold. I know, weird. So once I get tomorrow's listings all sorted, it's back to tatting another pair of them. I finished this pair just before I retired for the evening. I'm wondering if I should make two more, just in case, but honestly this selling two in a row thing was an awful fluke. I don't think that sort of thing has happened ever. I can't imagine that kind of luck holds very long, but I'm certainly glad I got a little taste of it. Here's to that luck holding on just a bit longer.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Almost Busy

Well, let's see on Friday I did get up to some tatting. I searched through my sold items that I haven't yet remade for something that I should have gotten back into the shop. I found these barefoot sandals. The main structure is based on a classic single shuttle pattern, but since I generally hate thread spaces, I turned it into a woven chain design instead. I've used this same motif to make a neck corset as well, but for the barefoot sandals I just add some more rings a the top along with the other necessary bits for that kind of piece. Really I just remade them so I'd have something to tat and something to visually share.

The rest of the weekend I worked a tiny bit on the pattern for Wednesday. Don't forget I will have a new and inexpensive pendant up for sale for the holiday as well as the matching pattern and at least one more pattern besides. They will all still be for sale after Wednesday, but the special price will be for International Tatting Day only. I kind of got away from the weekend recap there, sorry, though it was mostly just family adventuring. This weekend was the annual plant sale at the local community college and as always we picked up several new plants to attempt to grow at home. If they live, it was meant to be, if we kill them, it wasn't. It's nice to pick up native plants though, especially since we're in a drought and plants that can survive with less water are definitely our choice now.

So yesterday I sold a pair of ankle corsets and that made my weekend really. I already had two pair made, but I'm working on another because they take some time to create and I like to have them always listed in the shop. I also need to get off my lazy butt and finish everything for Wednesday. I kept telling myself that I was far ahead of the game on this project only to realize that I have managed to procrastinate myself all the way to having almost no time left. I leave you with a picture of uncomfortable cat. I think his face beautifully illustrates the panic I'm just now beginning to experience.

Friday, March 27, 2015


We had a nice normal morning of schooling followed by a nice jog and yoga. The day felt about as routine as possible. I bet you're thinking that since it started so normal that I must be leading up to something interesting that happened. Nope, completely uneventful day, completely uneventful week really. Though I did manage to read an entire book trilogy in 4 days, it was the Wayward Pines Series if you're curious. The previews for the upcoming television show intrigued me, so I gave it a go. Of course now I imagine that the show will only disappoint me.

Aside from that all I managed to tat up was a pair of bobbies. That's bobby pins, sometimes people ready that word the wrong way. The picture is them not finished though. The one still needs its second round and they both need their center bead. At least it's a picture right. Well here's to a more eventful weekend. Something has got to give sooner or later, right?

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Well yesterday's teacher meeting pushed school back so far that we didn't even bother going out to jog or do yoga. Instead I somehow convinced myself that I was up for more weed pulling in the yard after lunch. Why does only a half an hour of that activity feel like I climbed a mountain the next morning? Who knows, but it seem to almost always be the case.

There were no orders in the shop, nor was I particularly inspired to create anything. I couldn't, however, let another day go by without any tatting. So to that end I doodled up this little bit. It's nothing too interesting nor creative, but at least I picked up my needle and thread and did something.

Now that the most recent teacher meeting is wrapped I have a few weeks of calm before I have to start gathering more work samples and that will hopefully put me in the mood to do the patterns I've been planning. Sometimes it feels too much like my own school work, getting them all written out, photographed and proofread, but I am on a self imposed deadline. Of course as always I'm hoping for more sales to distract me instead, that's the dream.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I didn't really do a thing worth sharing yesterday. There was schooling and a jog with the kids. There was laundry and some reading. I even got caught up with a messy science experiment, but I managed to unintentionally avoid tatting all day. It's days like these that I wonder why I bother writing at all, but the truth is as it's always been, it's a habit that I choose to keep. Whether or not I have anything of interest to share or not, I'll always write Monday through Friday, because that is my routine.

Hopefully I'll manage a little tatting time today, perhaps there will be a sale in my shop or maybe some inspiration will hit. We do have a teacher meeting today so it will already be a long and different morning. Maybe the change in routine will be inspiring in itself. Or more likely I will sit down tomorrow morning with nothing of real interest to share and write about it anyway. Yeah, I'm hoping for some fresh tatting too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

That Was A Day

Let's see, we had a nice predictable morning of schooling followed by our new routine of jogging and yoga. The kids have both recently started reading a new novel as well, so I joined them and spent what was left of the morning reading. In another wonderful twist, I got another order in my etsy shop, nothing huge or custom, but something. So after lunch I had something to tat up.

This is my Night Garden necklace. I designed it what seems light eons ago as a bridesmaid necklace for a family wedding. The tatted jewelry has outlived the marriage handily though. It started with the small classic element at the center bottom and I added the vine and clover details to the side. In fact I think that it was one of the first pieces I designed by drawing it out. I rarely do that even now. I much prefer just making it up as I go along.

The late afternoon was a real family adventure. Remember I mentioned a walk on a dry creek bed? Well, while we traversed it we discovered a small section of water that disappeared under the edge of the creek wall full of huge tadpoles and catfish. The husband decided that we must go back and rescue as many of them as we could and move them to the other fork of the creek that still has flowing water. This took up a nice chunk of time and involved a bucket and a couple of nets, n to mention climbing up and down steep banks. We managed to catch quite a few of them and released them safely into a better environment, but I think we're all a little sore from the effort.

We also finally got our car back from the shop and though it certainly wasn't cheap, the damage was far less than I imagined. So I guess the day was a win overall. I'm crossing my fingers for less fish rescue, no car bills and more tatting today though.

Monday, March 23, 2015

An Order

The weekend was mostly adventuring with the family. We hosted a birthday celebration for my niece and nephew, whose birthdays are just a few days apart and that meant cleaning the house as well. So there was cleaning and shopping and one long walk on the bed of the almost completely dry creek nearby, thanks drought.

The one thing that made this weekend just a touch different is that on Friday I actually got an order in my etsy shop. Not just any order either, a custom order and that means I actually had tatting that needed doing. The customer ordered my widest cuff bracelet with beads added to it. I'm almost certain that she assumed they could be added after the fact, as in sewn on, but that doesn't really work well. In fact I even had to adjust the pattern to account for them. Since they are the Swarovski rounds, they are larger and they take up enough space that they would change the shape of the piece. So I got to do some minor design work as well to get them to fit perfectly inside the piece. It was lovely.

It actually took until Saturday to finish, but now I am again fresh out of tatting tasks. Though I do still need to put together the pattern for the Tatting Day piece. I don't suppose that will take too long, so I'll probably stall on it until the day is almost upon us. Well here's to more custom orders or any or any orders really, some artistic inspiration, and hopefully finding out that our car only needs minor, inexpensive repair since we're still waiting to hear on that. Fingers crossed.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Little Done

Another long day of schooling scooted my tatting time all the way back until after lunch. Honestly I didn't even look at the edging turned necklace, turned doubting object. I guess I need a little more time and space so I can look at it objectively. I did work on getting more of the special pendant made and I took yet another cryptic picture of a handful of them.

I think today I might work on getting the pattern put together. It's a simple one, so I'll probably get at least one more ready to put in the shop. Of course with the lack of sales I've been getting of actual finished pieces I'm sorely tempted to do even more patterns in my shop. They seem to be the only things selling recently. Unfortunately I have a feeling that doing so would just encourage the pendulum swing in that direction and I simply cannot make enough money on patterns alone. So I suppose I will maintain the status quo and continue crossing my fingers that things will pick up until another more effective strategy presents itself.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Second Guessing

Okay, so I lied about getting yesterday's edging turned into a necklace and into the shop. I kept looking at it thinking it needed something else. So in the end, I added yet another row to the design. As I was working on it, I shared it on my facebook page. Someone commented that the top row, the one on the right here looked "wobbly...and uninspired". At first I was just indignant and annoyed at the comment whose sentiment I thought could have been expressed less rudely. Then it had me second guessing myself right out of listing it. I may or may not change my mind at this point. I could tear out the top row and try again. It absolutely has to have one for structure though, so I guess time will tell.

While I was contemplating the fate of that piece, I decided to finally get on designing the small pendant that I will release for sale on International Tatting Day. I came up with something really simple based on some classic designs with hopefully enough of a twist to make it worth purchasing. Remember I offer the pendants on April 1st for a special one day price. The design might stay in the shop, but the price increases the next day.
 Obviously I can't actually show you the design as it's always been a surprise. By always I mean for the last few years that I've been doing this. The very blurry close up of a small section will have to do for now. It's likely that I will also offer the pattern for it on the same day, so mark your calendars.

I guess today will be all about deciding if that edging really is a necklace or can be with some work. While I'm thinking I'll make more of the new pendant so I have several colors to list, please post any requests on that point! Other than that it's just crossing my fingers for some sales in the shop that aren't just patterns to pay for whatever the mechanic eventually says is wrong with the car. Yeah, it's going to be another one of those days.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


I thought that I would use St. Patrick's day and all that luck talk to attempt to get some for myself. I had mixed results. Schooling went fairly quickly and we were able to get outside and walk, so good there. I offered a one day coupon code for the shop to try and jump start some sales, not a single nibble, so not so good with that one.

Then I chose to just get tatting. The first go was a complete failure, not sure what I was trying to make, but I ended up with a bit of a triangle blob. Again, we ended at not so lucky. I was pretty determined to do something worth doing though, so I kept at it and failed a second time, but out of that failure I managed to see something worth trying again. I thought this bit had potential and it was actually different than any of my other edgings. I opted to add a second row to the sample piece here, hoping that it would be enough to turn it into maybe a necklace.

I think it actually works. I did end up doing some more adjusting to the design in the final go though. I don't have any photos of that though. I worked on it the rest of the evening and I'm optimistic that I should have a final piece made and maybe even in the shop today.

Of course my luck roller coaster had one more down phase before the day was out. It ended with mysterious car troubles that will likely cost far more than we wish it would. That left me back at worrying over my shop sales and my inability to provide the kind of income to the household I once did, yet again. Fresh edging design aside, I don't think that the luck of the Irish was with me at all. Here's hoping for some good luck soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Well, some days you don't get to do anything you wanted to do. Yesterday was one of those days. Sure I had few solid plans for the day to begin with, but I always like to be able to sit down and get some tatting done. Yesterday was having none of it however. Yesterday, I was reminded of how much of a time commitment homeschooling can take when it wants to. The oldest daughter had to finish her research paper. While she did all of the research herself and most of the writing before yesterday, the final bits of typing, and editing required my direct supervision and input. It basically sucked most of the day away. We still managed to go out and jog, walk, and do some yoga after schooling, but we weren't done until almost 4 and I still had laundry to finish and then make dinner. No time for tatting.

I haven't even thought about what I might get up to today should I get some time to do anything. I suppose all of those things I wrote I would try to get up to yesterday. Man, I really do hope that the Universe surprises me with something good soon. I need an upswing and some solid sitting, tatting time.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Weekend Recap

Amazing thing weren't not right around the corner as I had hoped on Friday. I mean, there was nothing particularly bad either, so I suppose that's something. I did try some tatted doodling over the weekend to some spectacularly unimpressive results. So unimpressive that I didn't even bother taking photos before tossing the offending pieces of lace into the trash bin. There was a point during the weekend that I just gave up a little and spent time cleaning the house and even sitting outside for no real reason.

I'm pleased to say that the Grand Daisy Necklace Pattern I posted on Instructables has continued to rack up views and is of this writing sitting at about 3000. In fact that's the only encouraging thing that's happened lately. I still have to pick the other pattern for April and I still need to design this year's special pendant for sale. I know I keep saying these things and not doing them, but I figure maybe if I write it down enough, I'll eventually become compelled to comply. As has been the case for quite some time, the lack of sales in my shop has discouraged my creativity more than it really ought to. I know that I shouldn't need that outside force to inspire me to work, just like an artist isn't suppose to need praise to feel worthy, but let's face it, it most certainly helps. So here's to a week filled with sales, inspiration, and satisfying hard work.

Friday, March 13, 2015


I spent much of yesterday simply spreading the link to the new pattern around, then watching how it was received. It's been quite some time since I put anything up on Instructables, so I haven't been stopping by the site much except when I saw another tutorial I wanted to play with. I was completely unaware until yesterday that my tutorials there have garnered over 1 million views, wow. By this morning the new necklace has been viewed almost 1,500 times. Of course most of those views are just that, but it does mean more eyes on tatting and you know how I do love that. If you missed the pattern yesterday, it's here. It's also permanently listed in the right sidebar of the blog.

So as to the winners of the 3 month Pro memberships, the random number generator spit out 1 and 4, so Denise - Jewelry By Denise and sylvie 66 you're our winners. Message me by email or on etsy to get your codes. You can find my email address in my blogger profile.

Other than pattern nonsense all I did was knit a sock yesterday. I did manage to finish one of them, but I haven't started the second partly because I managed to split my fingertip with the knitting needle. I think I might need a bit of a healing break or I'll just make it worse. Hopefully I get a sale in the etsy shop soon so I can get back to some tatting. Well either that or I get a new idea. I think both of them are equally as unlikely right now, but you never know. Amazing things could be right around the corner, I'm choosing optimism today.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

New Pattern!

While there was a bit of sock knitting yesterday, I still haven't finished one of them. Tiny needles, tons of rounds and surprisingly I actually did what I thought I was going to stall over for days. I actually put together patterns. I thought a progress shot of the socks would liven up the post a little though.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Grand-Daisy-Tatted-Lace-Choker/Back to the patterns.While the original plan was to get them ready to release April 1st for International Tatting Day, I guess I just couldn't wait. The first one is up for free at Instructables! I just published it this morning. I did the pattern for my Grand Daisy Tatted Choker. I actually published the pattern before in an issue of Belle Armoire or Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine, I honestly can't remember which anymore as I had designs in both and it was quite a few years ago. Since you can only get magazines for so long, I figured it would be nice to make it available to everyone.

As an extra bonus, I have some three month Instructables Pro memberships and I thought I'd do a giveaway for them. Instructables is of course free to use, but there are some bonuses to a Pro membership including the ability to actually download the tutorials and no ads on the site. So comment on this post that you'd like one and I'll do a drawing for a few of them tomorrow morning.

As to the other patterns I'm putting together, you will just have to wait until April 1st for those. There will be at least two of them. One is already chosen and ready, the other I'm not quite settled on yet, but I have time to get it sussed. I hope that you like the choker pattern and share what you make with it, but please use it for personal use only, thanks!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Not Much

It was another day full of exercise and I'm not certain that my body is happy with this arrangement. There was another short run with the kids followed by a nice walk. When we returned it was time to do a little yoga. At this point I'd just like to trade my body in for a much younger version, but I'm sure all this will pass.

When we got back I worked on the piece that sold overnight the night before. It's a nice simple vine like pattern that we've probably all used at some point. I like this version of it because it has a bit of a natural curve to it making it perfect for a shorter necklace, but not a choker. I did finish the piece fairly quickly leaving me some great stalling time. I know that I should get to work on writing up patterns, but I just don't feel like it yet. Instead I found some other sock yarn I had lying about and started knitting another pair of socks. I wasn't in a hurry though, so I'm only about halfway through one.

So I guess today I'll attempt to convince myself to get to work on the patterns for April. When I fail to convince myself I'll probably go back to knitting. Of course this is all moot if I happen to get a sale in the shop, at which point I'll drop everything to make or remake whatever might sell. I guess that will work for a plan today, unless something better comes along.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Little

I didn't get much done yesterday except for starting to run with the oldest child who has to take a physical fitness test in a month. I mean we aren't completely sedentary around here, but I much prefer a nice long walk to running. She has to get ready for it though, so run she must and I needed to help her understand pacing herself, so I ran. It may be the last time I do that though, my knees are killing me this morning.

Other than that aberration which will unfortunately become normal soon, I did get one piece made. I didn't think I had anything left in my sold pieces to tat up, but I looked and found one. It's another older piece based on a vintage edging. I did get the whole necklace made, but I've been trying to stop and take a picture mid-work so that I have something to share online, just in case I don't finish.

I did finally get a small sale overnight. That will give me something to make today. Though it really is one of my easier necklaces so it will be done quickly and I'll be right back to wanting something else to make. I did make more inquiries regarding possible designs to release as patterns and I have a few more ideas. As soon as I feel ready to get them written up, I should have plenty of patterns to choose from. I guess that's it for me this morning, here's hoping for an interesting day.

Monday, March 9, 2015


https://www.etsy.com/listing/225210370/fenestra-tatted-lace-pendant-multipleToday's post is definitely going to fall under the 'other nonsense' heading. I just couldn't get myself tatting over the weekend at all. I did manage to get all the new pendants into the shop on Friday, but it's not like any of them sold, so I fell into a bit of a rut. Instead of wallowing with no new book to read and no new or old pieces to make, I opted to fall back on knitting.

I had a skein of sock yarn I bought eons ago that had yet to find a use, so I though, why not socks. Yeah, I don't normally like to make socks, the pointy needles hurt my fingers. Yes, I am aware of the irony there. I figured I could get a pair of ankle socks knocked out over the weekend and I was right. It distracted me quite handily and left me with some house socks to get me through the cold Spring mornings on tile floors. Of course I was also left with a bruised fingertip from the tiny, pointy needles. Again, yes I am aware that my tatting needle is even tinier and pointier, but I generally don't push my tatting needle with my fingertips while working.

So that leaves me at today. Still no tatting to do. I did get a request in my shop this morning, but they were requesting a wholesale discount for just a few pieces and I don't do that, so it will likely come to nothing. I do have some better ideas about April's pattern offerings thanks to your comments, so thank you so much for those. I might just get to work on putting those together. Hopefully I'm distracted by a sale or two though, because it's been a ghost town yet again and I can only handle that so long before I get really whiny. Here's hoping.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Lots of Color

On one hand I got quite a bit done yesterday. On the other, it wasn't all that I had planned to get done. For one, I didn't list anything new in the shop at all. I did get a whole bunch more of the new motif tatted up though. I asked over on my Facebook page for color suggestions and I got all but one of the requests made. The other color I couldn't make was a light blue because I just don't have any light blue thread. I hope I can stay motivated enough after schooling today to get these up in the shop. I certainly am not making any more of them unless one goes to a new home.

I still haven't come up with any good ideas for a new piece or pattern for next month either. I guess I'll try to think on it over the weekend and maybe something will come to me. I may just release the pattern for one of my previous designs, so if there was something you really wanted the pattern of, please do let me know. Otherwise you'll just get whatever I fancy. Hopefully some inspiration kicks in with this sunshine.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Well, I didn't get any surprise sales to give me something to tat, so I had to rely on my meager imagination. As usual, I just sat down with thread and needle in my hand and started making things up. Soon I had a bit of something I could use. A few revisions and beads later I'd managed to come up with something at least a little different from anything else I'd already tatted.

Since I had little else to do with my time, aside from laundry and the like, I just grabbed some more thread and made a few more of them. My current plan is to make even more and then pop them in my etsy shop as pendants. I'm also starting to think forward to April first and International Tatting Day. I've been able to come up with a small new design every year to offer cheaply as a pendant and the accompanying pattern. This year I was thinking of doing both a free pattern offered here or on Instructables as well as one for the shop. So I guess if you have any opinions on what you'd like me to offer, I'd love to hear it. Obviously there's still plenty of time, but I always prefer being over prepared rather than under.

So I guess today's plan is a little tatting followed by a whole bunch of thinking. Man, I sure hope a sale interrupts that. It could get painful otherwise.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


I was probably a little too happy when I received an order during schooling. One of those inquiring folks came back to make a purchase to my great delight. After schooling I spent the morning reading while tatting. It's kind of a newer bad habit, but it does let me finish two things at once.

The order was a custom length necklace. Since this is one of my very few pieces where the chain of the necklace is actually split rings, it took a while to work up. Split rings take a bit longer with the needle I image since I have to keep un-threading and re-threading to make each one. Otherwise it's a very simple design, one of the first ones I ever put together when I started selling my work actually.

The necklace did get finished as did the novel I was reading. I also managed to get the house cleaned up a bit, so it was definitely a more productive day than the one that preceded it. Unfortunately I'm right back where I started yesterday with no more projects or orders to deal with. Hopefully I get a repeat of yesterday and another inquiry becomes a purchase. Either that or my creativity kicks into gear and I make something new. Basically I'm going into yet another day blind hoping it just all works out by itself.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lazy Day

Oh, it was such a lazy day yesterday. After schooling I opted to finish reading the novel I had downloaded the day before. I didn't have any pressing tatting to do, so I was just killing time hoping for an order or something. The last few days I've fielded several requests and questions that have gone no further than me answering the questions. No one has come back to make the purchase they referred to, but that hasn't stopped me from waiting for them to do so.

So instead of tatting I watched a little television, then the power went out for the first time in six years. The house became horribly quiet, the kids went outside to play and I started reading another novel when I know I could have been tatting. I will have to come up with something to make today whether those inquiries become customers or not. I can't let the momentum I have gathered over the last few weeks go to pot. I've no idea what I'll make, but I promise I will pick up my needle and thread sometime today.

Monday, March 2, 2015


Well, I had an interesting weekend. Friday was fine, I made up a pair of the new earrings in the dark gray linen, though I didn't list them, nor photograph them. Honestly at this point I can't remember what else I got up to on Friday. I didn't get any sales in the shop, so it wasn't much. Then Friday evening I did something stupid. While putting groceries away in the freezer I ripped my right ring finger nail off just a few millimeters below the quick. The picture was actually taken yesterday after I finally took the bandage off, so it's looking much better. The point of the story is that the rest of Friday and all of Saturday were pretty tatting free. I mean it was possible, I tried a little, but it was incredibly slow and careful. Trying to avoid touching the fingertip was difficult and when I failed, it was pretty painful. It still feels weird, but it doesn't hurt anymore. It's a bit crazy how something so little could limit my ability to properly function.

On Saturday I had gotten my supply order in, but it wasn't until Sunday that I did anything with it. You see, I really have been making pieces and then just leaving them bagged up without their hardware for ages. When one of those pieces sell, I get it put together because I was so low on clasps and jump rings and whatnot that I didn't want to waste them on anything until it was actually going out the door. With new supplies in, I pulled out the bags of unfinished pieces and got them all put together properly. It took a few hours and a Doctor Who marathon to get it all done and I feel certain that I must have missed a few pieces. It seems to be done now though.

Today leaves me with no tasks on hand, save for the usual household ones. I think I've gotten caught up on pieces that need remaking, so I guess I'll just cross my fingers for some orders or maybe some inspiration. I'm definitely crossing my fingers for no new silly injuries.