Monday, July 31, 2017

Weekend Recap

I know this is shocking, but I have new tatting to share with you today. A loose idea has been percolating in my brain for a little while, but then one of my favorite people shared an image with me as inspiration and it was so close to that percolating idea that I actually started work on it.

A post shared by Pamela Quevedo (@totusmel) on
The idea is a potential headpiece that will come down in a point across the forehead and then also down on the sides of the head with the top edge being a bit like a crown. There are a lot of details to work on on how to will be worn and how this prototype shape will be further adjusted to form the other shapes.

The shape here started with an antique edging that I twisted into a square. I've actually made up three different versions already and I think I've sussed out how to join them. The next challenge will be to modify the shape for the side sections. I'm working slowly on it, so I can keep working on all my other summer projects as well. I've reached about 45,000 words on my writing and received some wonderful and unexpected supportive messages to keep it up from a couple of people that I really respect. I can't tell you how nice it was to get those and it out a bit of a fire under me to work harder on it. Hopefully this week will see some substantial progress on my writing and my tatting. I won't say no to some orders in my etsy shop either.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Still Working

I've been lucky to get a few orders over the last week including a pair of earrings tatted in black linen thread. Someone had asked if it was harder to work with linen thread and I think I might have talked about it before, but the answer is yes, it is. Linen tends to not have a consistent width, often with little masses of fibers along the way. This not only makes double stitches less even, it also poses an issue when trying to pull the thread though the needle. Sometimes I can tug out the masses, but other times I just have to cut the thread and start with a new section. I still like using it because it produces an organic handmade feeling in the resulting piece.

I also got an order for my triforce necklace, so I spent some time remaking that for my shop. After the earrings and the linen, this was a milk run. Progress has been slow on the Armenian lace piece. I'm doing a section of small loops so it is taking roughly forever just to make it around the piece.

The week also saw my writing word count reach about 39,000 as of this morning, so I should break 40,000 today. Otherwise things have been pretty mellow around here, writing, reading, knotting, and tatting.

Oh, a couple of funny things to share this morning. I got asked late yesterday evening if I had pink or white mask available to send to a cover photo shoot for Italian Vogue occurring today and tomorrow in New York. Yeah, no. This isn't the first time I've been asked for similar things with similar time frames. I've rushed about overnighting pieces never to have them show up in print. I don't know why these magazines wait until the last minute to organize shoots, but that's always the way in my admittedly limited experience. The other funny story was a comment on this blog, that I've since deleted because it was ridiculous, congratulating the Totusmel team for being included in the top 75 landscape design blogs on the internet for some feedspot site. Yeah, landscape they even look at the blog before they write the comment? Too silly. Well that's it for now.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Biggest?

I am going to try and write here more again. For years I felt compelled to write everyday whether I had anything to share or not. It was an unbreakable habit. Of course I did break it and once it was broken, I had a hell of a time wanting to blog at all. So the plan is to drop short notes at least twice a week at least until I have something thread based worth sharing.

A post shared by Pamela Quevedo (@totusmel) on
Yesterday I posted this picture of my Armenian lace piece. I do work on it at least an hour or so a day when I need a break from writing. I was asked how big it was now, so I measured it and it comes to just over 3 and a half feet across. Which means I'm knotting well over 14 feet every round right now. That is incredibly crazy when you think about it particularly because  each knotted round only grows one or two centimeters at a time.

I still have no end size in mind really. I could already use it for a small round end table if I wanted, but for some reason I'm holding out for the largest Armenian lace doily ever. I haven't the foggiest clue what the largest existing one measures at. I've never even tried to look for that information. So in complete ignorance of my goal size, I'm just going to go ahead and say that one day it will be the biggest.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

On Writing and Tatting

My sale has been over for a bit now and I did get a few orders out of it. Even nicer was the large one I got after it. I've got a few tatted bracelets I'm remaking for the shop as well as a couple of the crochet and Armenian lace ones. As always it is wonderful to send lace off to someone who will appreciate it.

I've also been writing pretty consistently for the last few weeks. I'm up to I think 27,000 words now. If you were curious about what it exactly that I'm attempting to write, it's trying to be a novel. If I had to attach a genre to it, it would be urban fantasy or horror, but it's really not scary.I guess really it's too soon to tell what it wants to be. There are moments that I swear it's like it's writing itself, pulling me in directions I had not initially meant to go. I am also starting to understand a few things about writing that I never thought I would, like how continuity errors are born as I frantically tried to make sure changes I make are consistent throughout the 80 some odd pages I've gotten written so far.

In other news I'd like to take a moment to thank Fox for her lovely compliments on her blog the other day even if it was wrapped up with a slightly depressing thought. I fear that I do agree that tatting seems to be at bit of a stalling point. I am humbled that I ever had an impact on the art at all and now I feel a bit guiltier about my own creators block with it. I wish I had a solution or that I just suddenly felt inspired to create, but I have to concede that my inspiration has more often that not been tied up with selling pieces and knowing that someone will one day own the things I make. Since my sales have slowed to nearly nonexistent most days, making more things just seems futile as they will likely just get thrown in a storage tub never to see the light of day again.

I do hope that this lull is temporary and maybe come fall and the routine of schooling, I'll feel the need to create again. In the meantime I'll just keep creating in the ways I am inspired to do so.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sale is Still On!

I haven't had a lot of takers for my sale, but it is still on until tomorrow at least. You can get 25% off with the code SUMMER25 in my etsy shop. In the meantime I have spent my days reading and writing. I've managed to pen over 16,000 words now and I am not yet burned out, so there's a chance I might actually see this one through.

I did get a few orders in my shop including a custom order for gold and gray bleeding heart earrings and this wide cuff bracelet, whose name escapes me at the moment. So I've been tatting quite a bit too, just not as much as I wish I was.

Unfortunately I've also had a package go missing in France. It was marked as delivered, but the customer has not been able to locate it. It was likely stolen off a porch or by a carrier, so that means I need to make a new bracelet and send it off again. The worst part is that postage to Europe is ridiculously expensive so honestly it's costing me more just to send another than I got from selling it in the first place, never mind the loss of the bracelet on top of that. Insurance would have been too much on such a small order. Oh well, that's the cost of doing business when you have to rely on others to make final delivery. Luckily the customer seems patient and kind about the whole thing.

So just to recap, I'm alive, reading, writing, tatting, oh and I'm still knotting away on the Armenian lace as well. I'd really like to make a few more sales, so I may leave the sale up for another week to see if that helps. Otherwise I'll keep on working like I have been and I may try to start writing more often again. I think it might help with my other writing if I'm doing so. Time will tell.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Update & SALE

Happy Monday morning world. So the last couple of weeks have been a bit of a slog. First there was our broken air conditioner. You might remember that it went down two Monday's ago at the beginning of a triple digit heatwave. It took nearly two weeks to have a new one installed after we found out that it was something that just couldn't be fixed. We finally got it last Thursday, unfortunately it also came with a rather sizable price tag. On top of that we also had my mother staying all last week while she transitioned to living at my sister's house. That wasn't really a big deal, but it definitely contributed to the demise of any sort of routine.

I did manage to spent some time working on the Armenian lace piece and I got one whole order in that time. I tatted up a replacement bracelet as soon as I got the order. Other than that I have been writing everyday for a week now. I'm up to about 7500 now, but it's just the beginning so no one has seen that yet. My plan is to keep writing everyday until I've managed something that could be called a novel, good or not. Only time will tell whether or not it will see the light of day.

In the meantime I'm going to offer a 25% off sale to try and get some sales and hopefully put a tiny dent in that air conditioner bill since it pretty much ate up all the savings we had. So for the next week use the code SUMMER25 in my shop to get 25% off everything and please do share. I can use all the sales I can handle right now.