Friday, December 30, 2016

Home Again

I'm back. We went with family to stay in a cabin up in Stanislaus National Forest in a town called Long Barn. Needless to say, internet access was incredible spotty and insufficient to post anything longer than a Facebook status update. We had a good time, mostly. I'm not overly fond of the cold nor the snow, but I think that the kids really enjoyed it. The cabin was nice, but the sleeping arrangements for the 10 of us were crowded, so I am not well rested.

Also there were three of these deer heads to give us nightmares. This smaller one moved back and forth on a beam, oh and did I mention the earthquakes? Yes, there was several sizable ones in the middle of the night for us to enjoy. Really though, we had a good time, but I've little else to share. The only things I made were sad snowmen while the children sledded. Now I'm warm again and after today I should be rested enough to finish cleaning the house up from the holiday guests...maybe.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Not Much

I'm thinking I really should have saved some of those doily pictures for today because I have nothing to share at all. I mean we just hung out at home visiting with family all day. I don't think I touched a single needle. Wait no, I did repair a hat, but that's not really all that entertaining, is it? I also spent way too much time trying to fix the youngest daughter's gift, a 3Doodler pen, which ceased working after just a few hours of play. We bought the one for kids, and it must've gotten clogged, but there is no way to open it up and clean it out since it's snapped together. It's so frustrating, especially since we ordered it online so I can't just pop out to the shops to exchange it. That's enough of that though, we're off with other family for a bit of a mountain excursion today. I'm not a huge fan of the cold, so I'm kind of bracing myself for it, though the kids are excited. Here's a cat in a box to round out this disappointing post.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Morning After

Happy morning-after all. I am right and truly exhausted. Even the cats let me sleep in a bit this morning. We actually have two extra cats in the house plus my two brothers and my sister-in-law is staying here part-time. The house is certainly full. Saturday was fairly quiet, as far as going out and about, but we had lots of laughs and time with family though. Yesterday was anything but quiet. I did quite a bit of cooking myself including attempting a friend's recipe for mac and cheese. The attempt was quite successful, but that along with other dishes made for a very busy day followed by extreme cleanup. The dinner was fun and we got some lovely gifts, actually there were a few wonderfully amazing ones from friends that I'm still a bit in shock over. Best of all though was that there were some nice reactions to my doily gifts. Not all of them of course, but I think the vast majority receiving them were pleased. So I'll end this post with pictures of them framed in color, finally.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays

Since I spent much of the day out of town, I really don't have much to recount to you from yesterday. I finished one bracelet in the car, but it's the same ones that I showed you yesterday. The evening was a lot of hanging out with my brother, who is the first of our house guests to arrive. The other two and their cats arrive late this afternoon assuming they survive the drive with all of their pets.
I'd like to just take a quick minute to wish all of you who celebrate it a Merry Christmas since that's this weekend. If that's not your winter holiday of choice, I'll just throw out a blanket Happy Holidays for you and if none this holiday nonsense is your thing I hope you have a lovely, stress-free weekend. You can find the pattern for this woven snowflake I designed last year here.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Almost There

Let's see, yesterday was errands, cleaning and a family dental appointment. No, really that was pretty much it. I did have a little sitting time in the evening so I worked on some gift bracelets. These ones are in school-colors. I thought that a few of the nieces and/or nephews would like them. It's always really hard to make gifts for them, especially as they've become teenagers. Of course I suppose I was just as bad with my noncommittal, 'I don't care,' when asked what I wanted for Christmas. They generally suffer the gift card as a result and I feel bad that I spent so much more time on their parent's gifts.

Today is a trip out of town followed by the arrival of the first house guest. From here on out the week should get away from me pretty quickly. Hopefully I at least remember write tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Whew, another long day full of cleaning and other super fun tasks. I did sit down and do some tatting in the morning. I fear I was too distracted by my silly new Mario game to concentrate on my tatting much though. I figured I was on vacation, right? Despite my distraction, I did manage to finish the necklace as well as one more gift bracelet.

The evening was a lovely visit with friends and their two adorable and super energetic children. Honestly we didn't even stay out that late, but I was exhausted after all the wonderful crazy. That was of course just the beginning of the crazy of the week. We should get the first house guest tomorrow followed by two more on Friday. I'm sure there is more cleaning I have to get up to and there's the family dental appointment this afternoon. I do still have one necklace I should remake, but I may just add it to the 'after the holidays' queue and worry about it then. My hands are plenty busy as it is.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Silly Cat

What a long day I had. It started with assembling a new nightstand for our guest room. I mostly mention that as an explanation for the photograph. The cat assumed that I made this object for him and climbed inside just as soon as there was an inside for him to climb into.

After that project the kids were off with their grandparents for the day, so I had errands to run. Then with an empty house, I had their gifts to wrap. That was followed by cleaning bathrooms, my favorite. I wrapped the free time by watching some Black Mirror and making more gift bracelets.

Late in the evening I got an order in the shop for a couple of necklaces, so I packed those right up and popped them in the mailbox so they'd be out first thing this morning. At least one of them definitely needs to be remade straight away so I'll start with that today. Of course there is still more cleaning and preparing for hosting house guests, so I'm guessing my day will be busy one way or another.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Weekend Recap

It was a busy weekend full of cleaning, wrapping, binge watching The OA on Netflix and sitting about waiting for packages. On Friday I worked on remaking this necklace. It's actually one of my favorite designs because it reminds me of a crow. Of course this is just it in progress so it's not very crow-like at this point. I still haven't put the chains on it yet, so it's not back up in the shop. I might get around to that today, but then again I might not.
I used any sitting time I was granted over the weekend to work on more beaded double bracelets. I'm up to eight total now. You've seen the green and tan ones, but I also made up one in black with gold beads and a dark gray with purple beads. I added them to the listing yesterday, so they are all available in my shop and ready to ship. I'm getting faster at making them, but they still take a good amount of time, particularly the beaded crochet cord.

I think that I'm done with the bracelets for the time being, though I am making a couple as last minute gifts. I'm got more wrapping to do today and more house cleaning. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a busing week, just not knot-busy.

Friday, December 16, 2016


Okay, I have a bit of a confession. The day started out with good intentions. I started this new bracelet in a nice light tan thread with brass beads. I was working on it while schooling with the intent to finish it and one more and then get the last three photographed and added to the listing. This was all derailed quite efficiently by the release and my subsequent download of the Super Mario Run game.

I don't know how much time I lost to it, but I had iTunes credit so I bought the whole thing. It's nostalgia factor is high and it's both easy and hard to play. I did eventually put the phone down and finish this bracelet, but I didn't have the time to get onto another one. I had other tasks to get done with the holiday inching ever closer.

Right before I retired for the evening, I got another order in my shop. It's a single necklace, so I have a task to start with today. Hopefully I'll stay away from my phone long enough to accomplish what I meant to do yesterday as well, though there are more holiday tasks and cleaning that need my time today as well. I fear the kids vacation, which starts after schooling today,will be anything but time off for me.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Nice and Busy

I started out yesterday with some Orchard Green thread and seed beads during schooling. I did finish this bracelet, but I haven't gotten it listed in the shop yet. I wanted to get another one done before I added them to the existing listing for the Beaded Double bracelets. Right after I finished this one I got distracted by the best sort of thing, an order.

The order had two custom pieces that needed making in cream thread. This one is the beginning of a scallop earring. There was also a bracelet to make in cream and then a few pieces that would need remaking for the shop, I was on such a roll that I finished all of that save for adding hardware to the pieces. I'll get that done this morning so that I can get the order in the mail today. It's definitely the time of the year for working quickly and efficiently.

I woke up to another order, though this time it's just one piece and I have a second already made, so I'll get back to the beaded double bracelets. I have a habit of making new pieces in as many colors as I can. This time I'm limited by what beads I have on hand, which is probably a good thing. I usually end up with pendants in colors no one wants that just sit in a box forever. I'm certain that will happen with these as well but it likely won't stop me from making them anyway.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Beaded Double worked through schooling in order to get four of the new bracelet designs made. I wanted to have a similar collection to the other ones, but these ones definitely take longer to work up. It was well after lunch when I finished the last one and got them all listed in my shop. I am calling them Beaded Double, though it's not a very creative name, is it. Oh well, I do like the way they turned out though.

Not surprisingly, my favorite is the black one. I think I may do another in black with gold beads, since I don't have to worry about matching hardware and I have some on hand. I don't like gold for me at all, but I still think it would look striking. I'm also thinking about making myself one since they are so easy to wear. Oh, and I did actually sell one yesterday! The ocean turquoise one is off to its new home today and I'm just about finished remaking one to replace it. My thumbs are not liking all this beaded thread crochet, but I am certainly pleased to be creating something new.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

On A Roll
Right after schooling, I made up just one more of the new bracelet before getting them photographed and listed. They are up in my etsy shop now and ready to ship. This is just two of them, the variegated purple and the ocean turquoise. The other ones are done in black and medium charcoal.

After I was done with that I started thinking what they would look like with beads added to them. Eventually I got a plan and started figuring out where exactly in the crochet process to add them. This bit was harder than I thought it would be, though in retrospect, I probably could have found a tutorial for it. Instead I worked it out on my own with good old trial and error and with pink thread. Yeah, I know, not exactly my style, but I had plenty of pink beads and thread and this was an experiment after all. It could have failed miserably.

Once the cord was done, I decided to knot along both sides of the
piece for a completely different look, from the other bracelets and necklaces I've recently done. I really like the result. It's dense and a bit ornate without being gaudy. It did take forever to make, at least compared with the simple version, though. I'm hoping to make this in a couple more configurations today and then I'll get them listed in my shop as well. They are really fun to make and with the tatted ring on the ends of the bracelet and the macrame slide clasp, they are made with four completely different thread arts. That's kind of neat, right? Well, I thought so, but I am easily amused.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Can Do, I've been told I've been a bummer lately, sorry. I really didn't mean to foist my rut on all of you. The husband surprised me and came home early on Friday and we went out of town to finish Christmas shopping and get me out of the house. What he didn't know is that after a message from someone who reads the blog on my answering machine, I felt like I needed to pull myself out of the funk anyway. Speaking of that message, I didn't return it, and I feel a bit bad about that, but I am not particularly comfortable with strangers on the phone, I much prefer email unless I know you in person. I appreciated the sentiment, so thank you for the message though. Okay, back to the point, I actually got some work done. First off I got these necklaces that I had already mostly made finished and photographed. They are made with the crochet cord, the macrame closure and a simple line of Armenian knotting along one side. The cords do take quite some time to make, but I love the simplicity of the finished piece.

Then I actually got them listed in the shop here.  They're made and ready to ship in all four colors. Then after sharing them on Instagram, someone asked if I had made matching bracelets. I wasn't sure if the design would lay right on the wrist, so I decided that was the push I needed to try something new and I spent some time on Saturday trying that out. They do in fact work well as bracelets and I made two more over the weekend. a variegated purple and a gray. So today, after schooling, I'll be photographing those and get them listed in my shop as well. I promise I'll try not to bum you all out anymore this holiday season and focus more on what I can do.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Week's End

Exact same day, like exact same yesterday. There was reading and sitting and knitting. I did manage to fight off the rain blues and didn't collapse into the couch all day. In fact it looks like I may even finish the knitting project today or tomorrow, the book I'm reading too. So I guess next week I'll have to find something else to do with my hands while I read the next book in my queue. Maybe I'll get an idea, or an order or two and get creative again. Sorry, it has been a long and boring week hasn't it. I'll leave you with yet another cat picture. It's a good thing I have four of them, well until I have to clean up after them anyway.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Low Bar

Another day, another few inches of knitting and a few chapters of reading. Still no activity in my etsy shop, so the status quo was maintained for yet another day. Of course I did remember to get another cat photo for this boring mess. I didn't remember until bedtime, but I remembered.

There is no different plan for today either. It appears it's going to be a nice rainy day around these parts, so I'll probably have to fight the urge to sleep the day away once schooling has wrapped just to keep reading and knitting. So here's to the energy to stay conscious all day. I know, I know, I'm setting the bar pretty low lately.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Got a Picture

Yesterday went pretty much as expected, though I did get an order in the shop early in the morning. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the piece that sold was already made and I had a second of the same one already made as well. This means I had no need to get to work remaking anything, again. Instead I did what I did the day before. I read and knitted. I did also take a picture of a cat on a lap.

So, I'm preparing to start another day of sitting, and reading, and knitting, and crossing my fingers that something more interesting is about to happen to give my creativity a bit of a workout. Otherwise I'll just be stalking the cats for another picture for tomorrow's post and that just makes me look even more like a crazy person than I actually am.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


I was sucked into reading a new novel yesterday as it was one I've wanted to read and it was on sale for kindle. That also means I didn't start any new tatting, but rather knitted while I read since the knitting project is just simple stockinette stitch for at least another two feet. I can easily do that without paying any attention to what I'm doing at all. This also means that I don't even have any pictures to liven up this sad little post. I do apologize. Here's hoping that I get distracted from my reading by an urgent project or something. If not I'll try to get a cat to look cute for me to liven up tomorrow's sad little post.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Weekend Recap

Last gift doily is all done. I finished it up yesterday afternoon and then frame arrived a couple of hours later, so I got it pinned up in the frame and ready to give. I probably won't take anymore pictures of the lot of them until I get ready to wrap them, but many was that a lot of knotting.

That leaves me with a knitting project, that's not really anything too interesting, just something to keep my hands busy, and remaking a couple of pieces for my shop left over from my CyberMonday sale. There haven't been any new orders in the shop since then, so I'm still fighting the lack-of-motivation monster. I do feel pretty good about the weekend though. We managed to get almost all our holiday shopping finished. There are just a few odds and ends that need buying and a few more things that had to be ordered. I do wish we could give a little bigger, but you do the best with what you've got and I've got nearly a ghost town of a shop, so them's the breaks. Here's to a better week ahead.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Almost There

I think I got about an inch completed on the Armenian lace doily. I even went ahead and ordered a frame for it, so it can be a gift when I finish about another inch. On this one I simply alternated rounds of simple points with rounds of basket stitch. I think this next round is going to be another point section and when that's done the piece should be large enough.

I should get that done over the weekend barring more interesting or immediate tasks. Right now the weekend is unplanned, which is a relief after last weekend's holiday nonsense. I think I do need some recovery time and then next week it can be back to tatting and crossing my fingers that more orders roll in to undo the holiday shopping we still need to finish.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Not Much

I couldn't seem to get myself to work on the pieces that need remaking for the shop yesterday. Instead I managed to focus on knotting what is hopefully my last gift doily. It occurred to me that if I can actually get it done in time, it does have someplace to go, so it carries a higher level of motivation than the replacement pieces that will just sit in the shop. It's still got a good few inches to go, so I'm going to let it motivate me today as well. Then perhaps once the sun peeks out for a spell I'll be further motivated to get back to tatting.