Friday, January 29, 2016


We had the day off of schooling so we took a nice long morning walk and I managed to finish reading yet another novel all before lunch time. After lunch I took care of the most recent day of the TIAS. I have to tell you I am now utterly boggled as to what this is becoming. Seriously I've got no bloody clue right now. I've also been seriously fudging the bead sizes recommended because I don't have any the proper sizes. I hope they're close enough to work for whatever the heck this is.
After that I got the barefoot sandals finished and listed in the shop. The sun didn't want to cooperate, so I think the pictures are a tad inferior. I also didn't bother to paint my toenails and that's bothering me about them as well. I suppose I can always redo the pictures later if I feel so compelled. The important part is that they are now in the shop and I think they turned out pretty good. I think that also means I'm done with the Black Star motif for now. Maybe I'll have some inspiration today and start something in a new direction. More likely I'll read a lot more and relax a bit. Here's just hoping I have something remotely interesting to share on Monday.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Feet and Read

We had an online teacher meeting yesterday morning for my youngest and it lasted forever. It was also terribly frustrating as we only meet with this particular teacher online. Communication is awkward and we enter that realm where 'why say something in five words, when you can use a hundred to belabor the point', exists. I much prefer emails, but there's nothing for it. We do what we must.

Once all that was over I did get to tatting. It turns out the barefoot sandal idea may just work after all. After this photo I went ahead and gave it straps and went onto it's twin. It should have gone faster, but I was distracted. I should manage to get them finished today. I might even get them listed in the shop.

I was distracted because I decided to finally sign up with goodreads. I was having a hard time keeping track of everything I've been reading lately, so I thought I'd use it for that purpose. I then spent much of the day inputting all the books I've read recently and some on my shelves at home. I've only made a dent in the list of all the books I've ever read, but I really don't think I'll ever even try to do that. I just figured the more I listed the better the recommendations would be. I haven't even thought about reviewing anything yet. I suppose I will eventually. I can't imagine I will use much if any of the social aspects of the site, but I'm relieved to finally have a nice visual list that makes me feel like I'm actually accomplishing something when I finish yet another book.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Schooling went really long yesterday. This week has gifted the children with long, end of the semester tests. They don't like them, nor do I really, but there's nothing for it. I almost sat down after schooling without taking care of the new Black Star bracelet, but I remembered. I got it pressed, photographed and listed in my shop. I really like the way it looks and fits. I may just have to make one for myself as well.

After that I deconstructed the choker version to use for another idea. I'm trying to see if I can turn it into barefoot sandals. It's too soon to tell if it will work though. I made the mistake of wearing long socks under tight jeans yesterday so I couldn't try them out unless I wanted to go change my clothes and I'm too lazy for that. So today I'll make sure I wear short socks so I can remove them to check the fit of the piece and I suppose I'll know pretty quick whether they're going to work or not. Admittedly, It looks a bit weird right now, but I think it may look nice when worn. I'll find out later. If it doesn't, I'll deconstruct again and make myself that bracelet out of the bits.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Well I managed two tatting tasks yesterday. I did the last 2 days of the TIAS, because apparently I was that far behind, and I made something new. I was so on top of the TIAS last time, but for some reason I keep missing the posts this year. It's my fault. I think it might be my incessant reading. I haven't read this continuously since I was childless and it is an effective distraction from the Internet. Anyway, I think I'm sticking with my frog guess now for this piece, though I am usually wrong.

So onto the new thing I made. Well it's still just the Black Star pattern, but now it's a bracelet. I kept looking at the choker version and being fundamentally disappointed in its structure. There were some salvageable elements though and I used them to make this cuff bracelet. It's meant to sit low on the hand since it flares a bit, but I don't think it comes down on the hand enough for a slave bracelet.

I should get this one into the shop today since we should have sun for the week. In fact making this bracelet gave me a fresh idea about a choker version that I might try out as well. That should give me some tatting to go along with my reading for a spell.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Weekend Recap

It was a fairly quiet weekend. The shop stayed silent, so I didn't have anything to tat. Well, that's not entirely true, I did do another day of the TIAS. It still feels frog-like even though I can't for the life of me figure out what the most recent rings are for. It will all make sense eventually, I suppose.

Other that this little bit, I spent some time reading and some time knitting a pair of socks, well just the one so far really, but the plan is a pair of course. We also had a lovely get together to say farewell to our moving friends. Honestly, I'm trying not to think about it too much, because I get weepy when I do. In fact I'm going to stop talking about that right now.

We have a short schooling week because it's the end of the semester.  They call them non-instructional days, but whatever they are it means that the school week is only 3 days long and I'm looking forward to a little mindlessness. Maybe a muse will have visited by them and I can fill those days with creativity. More likely I'll fill them with reading and hoping for said muse. Either ay I still have 3 days left before then.

Friday, January 22, 2016

I got the purple star made yesterday and even though the sun was being a useless tease, I got pictures taken and got them all listed in my shop as well. I didn't take any modeled photographs though. Without the sun, they would just be too dark or harsh with the flash. Or you could just assume I was fighting a case of too lazy and just barely won. The point is, the Black Star necklaces are listed now and I'm crossing my fingers that someone will love them enough to actually buy one, or all of them.

I actually got an order yesterday for a different necklace, so once I was done with the stars I moved on to remaking that for the shop. In fact I was going so good on that, I forgot all about the most recent day of the TIAS. I guess that gives me something to get to today. Hopefully this weekend will be slightly less eventful than the last one. We do have a going away dinner to attend on Saturday night, but the rest of the weekend is blissfully unplanned.

Oh, before I forget, I do think that I will make this pattern available at some point, but not for some time at least. The next pattern I put out will be for International Tatting Day in April. If enough folks want it to be this one, I'll go ahead and write it up. So I guess let me know if that is something you'd like.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Red and Blue

While the sun did come out yesterday, I was unfortunately out of the house at the time, thus no listings of the star necklaces yet. We were on a tour of UC Merced as an outing with the kids school. We'd been out there years ago when it opened, but it's been around for 11 years now, so things have gotten quite a bit bigger and better. Our kids are really too young to much care about what the guide shared about 'campus life', but it was still pretty out there.

When we were home I managed to get two more star necklaces completed. The picture of the blue one doesn't really captures the turquoise and teal threads in the middle accurately, but you get the basic idea. The fiery colored one doesn't quite look like itself either. The outer round is true red, but it appears more orange here to me.

I still want to do one in purples, so I'll start that this morning and if the sun graces us with its presence then I'll try to get photos with my 'real' camera so the colors are more accurate. The rain is suppose to be back tomorrow, so I hope we do get a little sun first. I'd really like to see if people like these enough that they actually sell. I'm crossing my fingers now.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Star Making

I had a bit of a disagreement with the large star necklace. It just didn't want to sit right and I didn't want to make it behave. So, I turned my attention back to the individual star. I though I'd just go ahead and use my new 'chain' design to make it a necklace instead of just putting a jump ring on it to make it a pendant. Then since there was no sun in the sky for pictures, in fact it was raining all day, I grabbed some more colors and went back to making.

This is four shades of Lizbeth greens. It was the first color I saw
multiple shades of in my thread box, so I went with it. After the photo I did make it's chain as well. Then after I shared on my Facebook page, I started one in blues. Other suggestions were pinks/purples, and fiery colors. I think I might make all the colors I can think of and then list them. Or at least make until the sun comes out and then get pictures taken.  The sun is becoming quite rare around these parts as El Nino is trying to undo our drought. It won't work, but it's trying. It's one of the reason I've been lazy about listing pieces in my shop, but only one of the reasons. So here's to a productive day of start making.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Not Quite

I spent most of our day off yesterday doing things like laundry and dishes. We did make an effort to go out and take a nice walk as a family in between the rain that ended in the morning and the clouds coming back in the evening to start all over again. I finished the novel I was reading and I pulled out my tatting to finish that star necklace. I'm not sure that I like it yet. I fear that the end triangles are too long and it distorts the shape of the whole, so there's a good chance I'll be tearing down the ends and doing that again. Though I do like the 'chain' portions I created. In fact I started thinking about using that design to make something else, a little more delicate.

I also got a small order for a pendant, so I had that to remake as well. We're back to school today and I'm hoping a little routine will get me to finish remaking this necklace and get it all the way to the shop. I've been so ridiculously lazy about getting final pieces into the shop for quite some time.  I have a bunch of reasons why that is, but I won't get to whining about that now. I'll just try to fight it today and get some work done.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Well, we had a bit of a weird weekend around here. Two of our best friends are moving away soon and since we couldn't stop them from leaving we seem to have decided to acquire those things that they can't or don't want to take with them. So on Saturday we collected all their plants and brought them home. On Sunday we rented a truck and acquired some pieces of their furniture and with the help of my nephews moved those to our house as well. Then we had those same nephews and their sisters and mother over for dinner to thank them. It was just a pretty busy couple of days with little time to sit down and do any tatting at all.

I did manage enough time last night to catch up with the TIAS. I was actually a day behind, so I had both day 4 and 5 to tackle. I have to tell you I was a bit confused by the day 5 instructions. Usually I immediately know how to change shuttle instructions to needle ones, but Jane's fancy diagrams threw me off for a few minutes. I was thinking that there must be some crazy technique here that I'll never figure out. Then I realized this is just one of those times when the needle is actually easier than the shuttles. Anyway I'm guessing that's it's a frog at this point, but since that seems the obvious way to go, it's probably something far different and this is just a red herring.

We have the day off off school and the husband is off work, so I should get some time to work on the star necklace piece that I haven't touched for days. Here's hoping.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Mulit Star

I started the day by reading the last book of the Dark Tower series. I started the whole thing over a month ago and it's a bit weird to be leaving that world, but I was satisfied by the ending, so I'm good. You figure I would just take a break from reading now, but no I went ahead and read the last book in another trilogy that I was reading before. The last one came out while I was reading the Dark Tower books, so I really wanted to finish reading that story as well. I might take a reading break now, maybe, probably not.

I did also get to some tatting though. I worked up the star in a different color for each round and I really like the way it looks. I went with grays and black, because, well I'm me. I think I'll turn both the black one and this one into a pendant, though they are pretty big as one.

I also went ahead and worked a little more on the necklace version. I divided up the star and used just two points worth to add to the ends. I think I'll finish it off with a split ring chain so it lays well. Sometimes those Josephine knot chains have a mind of their own, but I'll have to see how it looks. I might even use a lock chain and split rings. Clearly I have no idea what I'm doing next. I'm sure I'll figure it all out soon enough.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


I spent a huge part of the day reading, though I did tear myself away to catch up on dvr'd shows that have been piling up. It was while watching shows that I decided to go ahead and see what happens when I join the starts together. I also redid the pattern just a bit to make the outer chains stand out a bit more from the rings they are around.

It's far too big for a bracelet, but I have an idea bout turning this into a necklace. The rest of it will have to be freshly designed as it just wouldn't work to go all the way around with the large stars, but I have a good idea about how I want the rest to look. So today's task will be to work on that and finish reading the book I'm on. I'm so close to the end I can smell it. I'm also a bit curious as to what the star would look like were the rounds done in different colors, so I might play with that just for fun as well. All that should keep me pretty busy I think.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

This and That

I started out yesterday with day 3 of the TIAS. Nope, still don't know what it is and boy does Jane love split rings. I actually already ran out of thread and had to tie off and add more. This is one of the few needle tatting downsides I freely admit to. Doesn't mean I'm picking up a shuttle anytime soon though.

After that it was more reading and I got an order for a pendant, so I had something else that needed tatting up. This is my bleeding heart motif. I've made a smaller version as earrings and used it to create a choker necklace as well. I named it that because of the flower by the way, not an actual heart. The pendant version hangs from a short lock chain, another technique that's probably easier, or at least less time consuming with the shuttle. I like doing lock chains though, they add such an interesting texture to a piece.

I also made up a second black start motif yesterday, I'm toying with the idea of joining them together like quilt pieces, but I've no idea what I would do with the end result. More likely I'll find a way to turn it into a bracelet or necklace. That's usually what I go to first anyway. I guess we'll just see how the day goes and if the muses are about or not.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Black Star

Well normally I wouldn't mention the news of the day, or yesterday, because you clearly get plenty of that elsewhere, but as it affected my day and my tatting, I should probably at least add it as context. Like legions of other people I was quite fond of David Bowie and his passing definitely had me a bit weepy and nostalgic.

 I folded paper stars while I was reading in the morning and by afternoon I felt the need to get tatting. Maybe it was feeling that I should mark his passing with a little creativity of my own since so much left the earth with him. Whatever it was got me tatting, I ended up with what seems to have become a black star. That's the name of the album that he just released Friday. The star wasn't actually intentional though, I think it was a subconscious tribute.

I've no idea what I plan on doing with the star. I suppose it makes a nice large pendant as it is, but I'm sure it has something else to be, so I'll play with it today while I'm a little less sad and see what it wants to become after this.

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Little Bit

Well I certainly wasn't busy over the weekend, but I did manage to get some tatting in. I finished up Friday with the split ring 'chain' of the necklace I was working on for the last couple of days. I also finished one more novel and started the next in the series. I picked up a kit to make little puffy paper starts when we were turning in the oldest child's work samples, so I spent a little too much time folding those while reading as well. They're completely useless, but addictive little things.

On Saturday the only tatting I needed to do was day 2 of the TIAS. Yeah, still not going to hazard a guess as to what it is Jane is having up make, but I do thank her for doing this project when I most need one to distract me from the creative black hole of January.

 On Sunday I finished the book I started on Friday and began the next in the series. This is the last one, but then there is another one that is apparently in the same world that I guess I suppose to read as well. I have no other tatting until day 3 of the TIAS which I believe isn't until tomorrow, so there will likely be more reading and folding of paper stars today as I hope for the muse.

Friday, January 8, 2016


Just when I thought I was going to have to work out what to do with my day, I got a necklace order in the shop. Just like that I had a project to remake the piece for the day. Luckily this necklace uses the same basic pattern as one of my slave bracelets and I've made that one quite a lot lately. That meant I could put the order in the mail straight away and leisurely get to work. It's also a nice modular piece, so I can make all the middles before I have to worry about joining anything together.

I'm actually not quite finished with it yet. There is more work to do on the chain portion today. My work time was cut a bit short as we headed to the movies and out to dinner with friends. We had a wonderful time of course, and that gives me a project still on hand for today. So I guess it's a win win. Other than this we have to turn the oldest child's work samples for school today and that should keep the morning rather busy as there has been a fair bit of procrastination regarding that. Hopefully it'll just be such a wonderful relief to have that done, the weekend will be completely relaxing. I wouldn't mind if orders kept me busy instead though, that would be great.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

That's Better

I definitely got more done yesterday than the previous one. After schooling I went ahead and headed over to the TIAS blog and got the first day of that made up. As per usual I have no idea what it is that we're making and I will likely continue in ignorance for the bulk of the project. That's okay though, I enjoy a surprise and especially one in nice uncomplicated bite size pieces.

Even though that did in fact put me in the mood to tat, I had nothing to make and no ideas bubbling up, so I went ahead and did some preliminary tax work instead. The shop was so slow all year that I didn't bother doing any of the books during the year assuming that it would be quick at the end. It was, and the totals for the year were incredibly pathetic. I've still more work to do, but since we can't file our taxes early as we wait for investment forms, I'm in no big rush.

After that it was reading until I got a wonderful order in the shop. It was for a bracelet that I have only made once before, so I needed to get straight to work remaking it before I shipped off the existing one. Yes, that's because I don't have a pattern written down and this one is a little hard to work from photographs as it's layered. This is just the central motif before I added the outer round and then there are two side motifs. I can't even remember when I designed this one, but I remember I thought the layering was clever. It sure is fiddly to work though.

That brings me to this morning with all projects finished, so I'll be again crossing my fingers for an order or an idea as the day goes on. If nothing happens, I'm sure to read more and I guess that's not a bad way to spend the day.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Well, there were no pleasant surprises yesterday to get me tatting and though I tried to find something to knit or crochet, nothing jumped out at me there either. In fact I mostly gave up on being creative at all and simply spent the bulk of the day after schooling, reading. I did manage to do laundry and dishes though, so at least there's something I accomplished in a concrete sense.

I think I'm going to go ahead and do this year's TIAS mostly to give myself something that needs tatting. Of course it won't be a lot of tatting, but I'll take what I get. Here's hoping I have more to talk about tomorrow, because I think this is the end of it for today. Sad, I know, but there's nothing for it now.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


It was definitely a nice and busy Monday morning. I had an order to get out in the post first thing. That was followed by a surprisingly drama free morning of schooling for the kids. I think that they might have actually been happy to get back to work, or at least have something more to do than sit about and be lazy.

After schooling I had a custom order of tatted hearts to make up. These are for a wonderful return customer that I've been lucky enough to work with several times over that last decade. She employs me to make tatted bits for her to use in her own creative work. Mostly they are hearts of varying sizes.

After those were made up I finished remaking the last piece from the order I sent out in the morning. I then started reading. I managed two short stories and started another enormous novel. I guess I can find time for all the things I want to do during the day.

I'm finished with tatting tasks, so I'm crossing my fingers for something to come up while I'm schooling the kids this morning. Otherwise it's more reading and perhaps I'll get back to some knitting as I have a gift to make. Though it's not needed until Spring, so I might not. Oh, who knows what the day will actually bring, but i might as well get to it.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The First Week

Well here we are starting the first week of the new year. Schooling starts back up and the house has been put back in order. All the decorations are away and most of the chaos of the holidays has faded. Of course one child is still rocking a holiday cold. Hers seems to have gotten better, mutated and returned, so we'll be fighting through that a bit today, but that's about it.

Over the weekend I finished the knit top I was working on and didn't take any pictures. I also got an order in the shop and did some tatting, and didn't take any pictures. I blame my picture laziness on the fact that I was also reading while doing these things. I finished three different books over the weekend including an incredibly long Stephen King one. Now that we're back to schooling, I won't have the same kind of free time though, so I'll need to better choose what to do with it. I'm still hoping for some creative brainstorm to hit soon and unleash some new tatting. Crossing my fingers now and getting on with this first week.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hello 2016

Nothing really changes on New Year's Day, but it's as good a time as any to get optimistic about the future. I don't have anything more specific to add to the sentiment, but it seemed like a good way to start today's post. The last day of the year was filled with movie watching as the family sat about and simply spent time with each other around some old movies. We were in bed far before midnight which is why I can be up at this ridiculous hour writing about who won my pattern giveaway.

The winner of their choice of any three of my sale patterns is louine. I just need you to message me either through my email on my profile page or on etsy to pick the 3 you want. Thank you to all of you who entered. Unfortunately there were so few entries that I decided to go ahead and just stick with one winner this go around. I'm hoping for a better turnout in April when my etsy shop turns a decade old and I'm sure to do something celebratory for that.

For today I'm going to keep plugging along with my knitting and my still slightly foggy sick brain, hoping that this year things will start to pick up again. I'm hoping for amazingly creative ideas to strike. I'm hoping for unexpected attention and press with more opportunities to share tatting and other handmade laces with the world. I'm hoping for financial growth and few to no large expenditures. I hope I can say that the shop is doing great and is busy much of the year instead of the opposite. Most of all though, I hope my family and friends are all healthy and happy and safe through the year. I guess I did have something more specific to add after all. Here's to it then.