Thursday, April 30, 2015


We had a bit of a tragedy around here yesterday morning. One of the two rats the oldest daughter just got as an early birthday present suddenly passed away. She was perfectly fine two days early, the day before she was being slightly lazier, but nothing alarming. Yesterday morning something was clearly wrong, but before the vet's office opened for us to call and make an appointment she died. The child was devastated and spent much of the rest of the day with the surviving rat on her shoulder to comfort both of them. Needless to say, that put a bit of a kink in the day, though we still had schooling to get done.

After lunch the household had settled down enough for me to at least get a little work done. I put together a cat ear headband since my last one on hand just sold. Then it was back to the new...old edging design. It bears less resemblance to it's inspiration now, but I still haven't gotten it all the way to choker length. I woke up to a small sale in my shop, so I'll be taking care of that before I get back to this. We also have another testing day today. She has two left today and tomorrow. It's safe to say that I am looking forward to next week when things are back to our usual schedule, but at least I'm managing to get some business and some creativity in.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


As predicted shuttling the oldest child to and from testing complicated the morning, but once afternoon was upon us I was able to sit down and work. I decided that if I couldn't come up with any new ideas that I would rely on some old ideas. I grabbed my stack of vintage and antique pattern books and started flipping through them for something to work with. I've done this countless times before, but this time I was going for something simple that I overlooked before. I thoroughly intended to make something as written just to relax and get tatting.

Of course that's not exactly how it happened. I chose an edging pattern in an Anna Valeire book. The pattern was hard to even read, but as it turns out I was going to muck with it anyway, so it mattered very little was the original pattern was. I tried once the way it appeared to be written and immediately decided to change a few things. This is the second version I made with some extra elements and stitch changes, but shortly after I took this picture, I scrapped it and tried a third version with further revisions. I shortened the top chains and lost some extraneous picots. I also enlarged the lower rings.

I'm really liking what I've come up with now, so it's on its way to becoming a choker I think. I was hoping for a bracelet, but the length doesn't look good for it. Maybe an anklet might work. I guess we'll see once I get a full length of it worked. So that's the plan for today. I'm also going to keep that stack of old books near so I have something to make when I need to.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


What a lovely day I had yesterday, all because I got an order in the morning. Schooling ran a little long and after lunch we had an online assembly to attend, so if was some time before I got to get to tatting, but then the rest of the afternoon was spent remaking the necklace that sold.

This one was based on another vintage pattern. It began life as the corner of a handkerchief edging. The first time I made it, I followed the pattern as written. By the time I finished it I knew it was going to need several major changes to work as a necklace. Of course all that was back when I made it the first time. This go round was just remaking and it went nice and smooth. I finished both this necklace and the book I was reading at about the same time.

Today is the first day of the school testing I mentioned yesterday, so I don't have much faith for free time. The testing site is on the opposite end of town, so it's no quick drop off and pick up either. Hopefully everything will go smoothly though and I'll get to tatting something when I get the time.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Better, I really needed that weekend. We did our normal adventuring, but we added in a nice evening with friends that we don't see nearly often enough. It was also this lovely friend that became the first to take home one of my Mermaid Tail necklaces. So that also meant I had one to make over the weekend as well.

It wasn't the only tatting I did either. I lazily tatted up some ears for a cat ear headband and I even attempted to doodle a bit though this session produced nothing worth note. I'm not sure how much of anything I'm going to get done this week though. It's testing week for the oldest child, but the youngest doesn't have to do it yet. That means I've got to ferry one and still get schooling done with the other three day this week. I have hope that something interesting and fruitful will happen this week.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Tassel Is Done
Well, I did a little something yesterday. It wasn't much, but it was tatting related at least. As soon as schooling was over I made sure to put the new necklace together and got it up in my etsy shop. After that was done I didn't do much else creative. I really think I have hit a bit of a creative funk. I know that I shouldn't require positive feedback, or any feedback at all really, to create, but when sales have slowed to almost nonexistent and comments are few and far between, I get a little maudlin. This isn't the first time and it certainly won't be the last time I'm here emotionally, but that doesn't seem to make it any easier to push through this nonsense. Oh well, there's really nothing for it until the Universe decides to intervene or I just snap out of it on my own.

As you probably guessed, I have no projects in queue and no new ideas currently. Here's to the weekend pulling me out of the funk...or at the very least distracting me from it for a couple of days.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Sorry, I accomplished nothing yesterday. I mean sure, I did schooling with the kids. I ferried one to her test and back and got some supplies for our new rats. That took up all of the morning. In the afternoon I read a lot and when I had some free time I opted to crochet squares instead of tat. I also did not put together the necklace I've been working on at all.

So yeah, I accomplished nothing of note yesterday, but I hope to do better today. I really have no excuses to do otherwise. I've got no errands or out of the house schooling stuff on the schedule. I should be able to get that necklace finished and listed in my shop. Of course that leaves me yet again with nothing more to do, unless I come up with a new idea or get one of those increasingly rare sales in my shop. I fear a serious case of the 'blahs' will be taking over soon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tassel, Again

There was more reading yesterday and more television watching, I think I might never catch up, and there was more tatting as well. I decided that I liked the idea of a tassel even if I have little evidence or feedback that it's a good thing, so I proceeded to make the motif again. The tassel has to be made first so I can securely add it like a bead. I also added some smaller motifs to the sides to create a more substantial piece.

The plan is to then add metal chains to those to create the necklace. I could just do a Josephine chain, it would save me using the chain I have on hand, but I like the way things hang on real chain sometimes.

I might not get around to doing that today though. Testing season has arrived around these parts and it starts today with the oldest child's physical fitness test. I have to run her there and back, or stay with her depending on how long it's suppose to take. This is our first year with this one, so I've no idea. Hopefully it will be quick and painless, then I can put together this necklace and I'll have no excuse no to get it up in the shop. Tomorrow she has a special online class for the other testing that is three days next week. I find it amusing that I am stressing out a bit over tests someone else has to take, but what are you going do? Here's to painless testing and maybe some more creative tatting ideas.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


I managed to a get a lot of things done yesterday, not that anyone would notice. I spent some time pulling weeds in the yard. With a water shortage, the last thing I want to do is waste it on weeds though I'm guessing that you can't tell from the street that I did a thing. I still have the back yard to do as well, but my legs are killing me, so it'll have to wait a bit while my out of shape self recovers. There was some crochet while I watched television and I also finished one book and started another, though I suppose it's debatable that any of that is getting something done.

I did get a bit of tatting done too. I started with this doodle that is clearly a little wonky. I owe the wonky to the short split chains I attempted to climb out of each round with. I seem to be much better at them when they're a bit longer. These short ones are just not stable enough. No worries though, I made a second motif with out using them and the design looks much better. I'm tossing about the idea of building off of this for a pendant necklace with maybe another tassel, but I have yet to sell any of the last tassel pendant, so I might be silly to add more tassels if no one really likes them. Just because it's fun to make something doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Again, no orders or projects in queue today and nothing out of the ordinary with the kids on the schedule either. I guess I'll play with the new motif and see what I can come up with. Hey, at least it's kind of a plan.

Monday, April 20, 2015


Another long, mostly tatting free weekend. There were lots of errands and catching up on shows still clogging my dvr. We finished watching the season of Daredevil on Netflix, which was very good. I even did a little crochet to keep my hands busy whilst watching that much television.

The most interesting thing we did though, was to get the oldest daughter her birthday present over a month early. She'd been wanted a rat for some time and we were looking for cages while the kids swam at their grandparents house. We had intended to just get a cage and accessories and wrap them as a gift, getting the rats later. Instead we found that the shop had the rats we were hoping for. It was a terribly unusual that they has such young rats, so instead we took the kids and let them pick the pets now.

The child didn't even mind that she was going to have to forgo more gifts on her birthday for this. The cats however are seriously unsure of this new development. It's been many years since we kept rats, and that was before we had kids, so this should be interesting.

I didn't have any orders in queue and I currently have no good ideas for any new designs. As usual I'm hoping some outside force will act on the situation and cause some positive change. Fingers crossed for some lace soon.

Friday, April 17, 2015


I got so hopelessly distracted with things yesterday that the number of things I forgot to do was staggering. I really have no idea why, but I got distracted by the book I was reading, finished it, but lost track of time. I got distracted by the kids outing, forgot to mail something. I got distracted watching recorded shows, I forgot, well...everything else I meant to do.

The only thing I managed to tat up was a slightly larger version of the Mermaid Tail. I changed some stitch counts as well, but mostly, it's just one row bigger. The idea I was testing out was to see if I made a larger one with smaller ones on the side, would it become a choker necklace? I still have some more work before I can answer that question though. Since I was so very distracted I obviously didn't get past this one bit.

Hopefully the weekend will be inspiring or profitable or maybe just a little more focused. I keep having that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop and the fear that the other shoe is a bad, bad shoe. I've got no discernible reason for this feeling, but it's wearing on me none the less. So here's to the other shoe being much better than I am imagining it to be.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Little Work did get to do some tatting yesterday, but I failed to take any pictures of it in progress. After schooling, I received a convo asking about delivery times on a necklace. Usually these messages lead to nowhere, but this time the piece was actually purchased giving me something to work on as I remade the sold piece. It's not quite back in the shop yest since it has yet to get it's hardware put on, but I did finish tatting it.

Other than the necklace I did little else yesterday. Well, I finished a book and started another and I made a little progress getting through my overfilled DVR. I didn't watch any recorded shows during vacation so that I could spend more time with the family and it's going to takes weeks or a case of insomnia, which I never get, to get caught up. Neither of those things have a tangible result though, so it feels like I did little else.

The kids have a school lunch in the park to attend today. That should eat up a bit of the afternoon, so I might not have time for much else. Again, I'm hoping for something interesting to happen that spurs a bout of creativity with what time I do have or just sales that give me some tatting to do. I know that this hoping is getting to be a fairly regular thing, but it's the best idea I've got.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


After schooling I again decided to stall for a while. For some reason I just cannot convince myself to get straight to work once my first job of the day is wrapped. Eventually I pulled myself together and made the final Mermaid Tale in variegated thread. I used Lizbeth Caribbean since it was the most watery feeling one I have on hand. Then I got to work putting them all on chains and getting the listing ready. The complaint for today is that the new 'Photos' app for my computer no longer has the black matte that I've been using for years to give my photos a unifying feel. So I kind of feel like the listing pictures are naked.
Despite the photo annoyance, I did get the current set of necklaces listed in my shop. I did try to think about what else might be done with this design, but nothing really gelled in my head. I know that there is something else, but I guess I need to think about it some more first. Also I just wanted to apologize about yesterday's rant, I do realize that I should be flattered that people like my designs well enough to want to make them themselves. I do absolutely appreciate that. I suppose it's the immediacy of the request that puts me off. It's not magic, it's a lot of work and I guess I would prefer being asked if I might write up the pattern in the future. No matter though, it'll definitely be quite some time before I release any more patterns for sale.

The shop has remained quite dead for some time, so I have no other projects in queue. Hopefully those ideas about what else to do with this piece will come together and I'll have something new to work on, but I'm not counting my chickens. I'm just hoping for a nice disaster free day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mermaid Tail

There was quite a bit of stalling yesterday after schooling the kids. I'm not entirely certain why, but I just didn't want to do, well, anything. After lunch though, I buckled down and got to work. I had two design problems to solve, making a tassel and securely attaching said tassel. I figured out the tassel pretty quickly, it wasn't particularly hard, it was just something I'd not really done aside from the occasional sad one on the end of a bookmark. I wanted to make sure this one would look good as jewelry. Once I had one made, I knew I just didn't want to tie it on. I decided to add a tight loop to the top so I join join it into the piece like a second tatted element. It seems to have worked well.

After I popped some chains on it, I was hankering to try it with different colors partly just for the practice. Mermaid green was suggested as a color, so not being certain what green would be considered 'mermaid', I used a hand dyed green I've had for ages. After that I grabbed a Victorian red to try as well. Neither of those have chains yet, so that's on deck for today. The green suggestion did give me a name for the piece though. It is clearly a Mermaid Tail.

As soon as I posted the finished piece on my facebook page, I got asked if the pattern was available for sale. I guess I just find it crazy that the minute I finish making something new, someone thinks I've already created a printed pattern for it. Man, that step takes forever and come on, can't I just have the creation to myself for a bit. Okay, rant over.

I should get these finished up and in the shop today unless something else interesting happens. I might even make it in another color before I do, maybe variegated. I actually enjoy making the piece, split chains not withstanding and it might be neat to see what a variegated tassel looks like, or it could be horrifying. I guess the only way to know is to try it out.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekend Recap

And the vacation is over. We're all back to the salt mines. Of course my salt mines are still at home, but they are full of other tasks that must be completed, primary amongst those is the schooling of the kids who really don't want to be back to school. Back to the weekend recap though, as it was a packed one. On Friday my sister got married at the courthouse, this was followed by a get together at our house for cake and I pulled out some champagne as well. If a wedding isn't a good enough excuse to drink in the afternoon, I don't know what is.

Saturday we did a little adventuring and some kite flying with the kids. We came home and found out that my brother-in-law had just gotten engaged. The day concluded with a trip to the closest Apple store to get my unfortunate phone replaced. While it seemed like it took forever, it was a fairly pleasant experience and best of all I have a new, shiny, dry phone. The rest of the weekend was devoted to marathoning several episodes of the new show Daredevil on Netflix. Yes, it's good...really, really good. Even the kids liked it, though there was a lot of looking away during some of the more, we'll go with violent, bits.

With all of that I only managed to pull out my needle and thread once. I am itching to create something new, so I doodled a bit can came up with this scaled triangle. This was actually the second attempt. It utilizes split chains, which, I am am far from an expert with, so it took a bit to get the tension good for the shape, not to mention the stitch count. I'm thinking I might hang it from the top corners on chain for a necklace. Maybe I'll find something to hang from the bottom as well. I was just thinking maybe a tassel. Of course all this presupposes that I get a little free time today to work on the idea. Here's hoping for a stress free return to routine.

Friday, April 10, 2015


Well yesterday was quite a day. On one hand it was a complete disaster, on the other, quite lovely. I guess I'll start with the disaster part and go from there. As I was getting the household ready for our trip to Yosemite, I became distracted with making sure we were well supplied for the day. This distraction led to a horrible mistake that resulted in my phone entering a small body of water. I'm not going to expand on the description, but I assume I shouldn't have to. The phone seemed fine at first, but as the day worn on, it got worse and worse. I know that I shouldn't be so distraught over it, but then I couldn't get an appointment for a replacement at the closest Apple store anytime soon, probably due to the watch coming out. I have become hopelessly dependent on the thing and now it seems to be giving up the ghost.

On the lovely day side, it was a beautiful one up in the mountains. We walked up to Bridalveil Falls and the Lower Yosemite Falls. The kids were even fine with the museum and Indian Village. Luckily the camera on my phone was still working yesterday and I managed to download the photos when we got back. Given the phone's behavior this morning, it's a good thing I rushed. This one is the kids at the lower falls.

Today, we have a wedding at the court house to attend and a small gathering at our house to host. There's also an annual doctor's appointment for one of the kids. I guess what I'm trying to say is it looks like it's going to be another busy,  tatting free day. I just hope that it's a disaster free day.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Less Reading, More Doing

I stayed much more in the real world yesterday. I didn't finish a single book. I did read a bit though. Other than the reading, there was some catching up on tv shows and that gave me some tatting time as well. I finished up my backup pair of ankle corsets. That there is a pile of lace in the resealable plastic back that I work with the thread in. It's an attempt to keep some of the cat fur off of the larger pieces I make. It works most of the time.

There was also a little bit of shopping. We seem to have moved our Saturday errands to yesterday in an attempt to free up Saturday. It was weird to be out with the entire family on a weekday though. We also took a nice long walk. It was a particularly lovely day outside. So lovely I even took a few nice cloud pictures.

Our plan today is a long day out to Yosemite, so much more walking. The kids have been there, but it was actually long enough ago that they don't seem to remember it. I doubt that I will get anything else done at all. It's a long drive there and back, but since I don't have anything that really needs tatting, and I get car sick if I read, I'll probably just watch the world go by.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

So Much Reading

Well, I did it again. I spent all my free time reading. We had a little family adventure time and yes, that cleaning I mentioned took place It was more of a grand sorting though. We're trying to get rid of the kids used toys, but our pack rat nature is making it a very long, drawn out process. Most of the day though, I sat down and read. I finished Ready, Play One. This was followed by reading the entire third novel in the Origin Trilogy, Atlantis World. If that all wasn't bad enough I started reading another one, this time an older Philip K. Dick book in the evening. What I didn't do was any more tatting. I really should just call the kid's Spring break my tatting vacation and accept it. I guess well just wait and see what today brings, I could still be surprised by huge sales or inspiration. What? It's possible.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


I almost forgot to write this morning because it feels a bit like a weekend right now. Yesterday was pretty full of small activities. There was the early run to the store, Easter clearance candy, then a nice walk out with the whole family. We watched a movie in the middle of the afternoon and while I read, the kids destroyed hard drives outside with the husband. There were hammers and protective eye wear involved. I even managed to get some tatting done, though it was just working on a spare pair of barefoot sandals while we watched the movie.

Today is supposed to be rainy all day, which we are really glad of, but it should keep us inside. I'm fairly certain I'll finish the book I'm currently on, Ready, Player One. The husband read it recently and recommended that I do as well. There was also some talk of cleaning as well. I still have more work on that pair of barefoot sandals, so I'll try to get that in too. I'm still crossing my fingers for a big sale in my shop or something else truly interesting to occur. Too much tatting downtime is bad for my creativity.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Weekend Recap

As predicted I didn't touch needle nor thread all weekend long. Any down time I was afforded went straight to reading, but honestly there was very little down time. On Friday we were off to the zoo for the youngest child's birthday outing. This was followed by a trip to the toy store and dinner out. As a bonus, something I ate came back to kill me later that evening. It didn't succeed, but it certainly tried.

Saturday was the birthday party, so it was filled with cleaning, followed by a house full of people. There was more excessive eating, but this time the food's revenge was limited to me feeling like I simply ate too much. Then there was more cleaning because we were also hosting a dinner on Sunday as well. Sunday morning was filled with plastic eggs and cats in baskets. We even managed a nice walk with the family before round two of house full of people started. Then there was of course more excessive eating and more cleaning.
It is a safe bet that I will not be consuming much food for a few days as the weekend just about did me in.

The husband and the kids are off all week, so we're going to try to adventure a bit. The weather, however, is going to make it a bit more of a challenge. We had wanted to visit some outdoors destinations, but a cool and rainy week is limiting our options. Personally I'm good with a little sitting about for a while after the weekend I just had. A little reading and perhaps a sale or two in my etsy shop to encourage some tatting would be great too. Here's hoping!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Another Year

Well, everything I was working on is finished. All the Tatting Day pendants and orders are packaged up and ready to go out today along with the custom order I got the day before. I'll get them in the post early because we'll be out adventuring for the youngest child's birthday. As always the kid's birthdays make me reflect on how old I'm getting and how long I've been tatting. I still feel like I'm a beginner some days and I started when I was pregnant with my first child over a decade ago now. Ah, time flies when you're tying knots in string, or raising kids.

I'm fairly certain I'll get up to no tatting this weekend as the birthday is just the first event in a series that will require me to clean up the house a bit, repeatedly. So have a lovely weekend all, I'll see you again on Monday.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Well. I had a pretty eventful Tatting Day. There weren't as many pendant orders as there have been in the past. One year I remember having to use a box to hold all the packages going out, but I did do better than last year. I had finished all the pendants ordered before I went up for the evening, that's the picture here, but I got a couple more orders late.  I have a few more to tat up today before the whole lot goes out. Thanks so much  to all of you that picked up a pendant or a pattern! If you missed it, they will still be in the shop, but the one day pricing is now over.

After I get these all done, it's back to the custom order I got in the day before. I'm almost finished with the necklace in the order and then it will be out in the post too. It's been a busy few days and I've quite enjoyed it. The rest of the week will continue to be busy regardless of what tatting tasks I have though. I've got my youngest daughter's birthday followed by her party the next day. Then of course the day after is Easter and the week after is Spring Break for the kids. The husband is also taking some time off which mean there will be adventuring. Honestly I'm getting a little tired just thinking about all of this. For now though I'll focus on the tatting. The house cleaning, entertaining, and adventuring are still a day away.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

International Tatting Day

Those of you you've been reading awhile are probably aware that today is International Tatting Day. To those of you who are new this year, It is, I assure you, a real, albeit unfortunately timed, holiday. The traditional celebration ritual has been established as tatting some lace and eating some chocolate. Clearly this is a holiday that is easy to celebrate.

What may be slightly less traditional, is my own personal celebration ritual. For that last few years've been designing a pendant to sell at a very low price for this day only and more recently the pattern as well. This year I'm adding a second pattern too. I hope that by offering a small bit of lace cheaply, it can fly to new people exposing tatting to more places. I also hope that by offering the pattern, those that already practice our art can create something new to share with others as well. years design is a a simple piece that is my own version of a
classic design. The outer rings create a bit of a swirl around the beaded center, so I'm calling it the Swirl Flower. All three listings are up in the shop now. They will continue to be available after today, but the price of the pendant will double and the patterns will go up to $3.25 tomorrow, the 2nd. As usual, the pendant is available in any thread color I have on hand. I'll be making them to order so, depending on the number of pendants that sell, it may take up to a week to get them all out. I'm really crossing my fingers that I sell a ton of them, so please pick one up if you can!
The pendant listing is here or click on the picture above. The matching pattern is here, or click on the image to the right. The pattern is written for needle tatting, though I'm certain that it can be accomplished with shuttle as well. I can't really help with that though as you know me and the shuttle have a long standing grudge. The extra pattern this year is for my Fenestra pendant. It's a slightly more complex design, though I was planning on offering something bigger as well, I think I procrastinated out of time to do so. The listing for that one is here or click the picture to the left.

So, that's it then. I really hope that you like the piece and the patterns. I'm a bit nervous about them as usual. So, do share these links around, or at least share tatting with someone new. Wear some lace around or sit at tat at the mall with some tasty chocolate and try to ignore the April fooling going about.