Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015

Just a quick note today to say goodbye to 2015. There were definitely some amazing things that happened this year. Lovey trips with the family, gatherings with friends, and more reading than I've done in years. I also taught myself bobbin lace, Armenian knotted lace and Romanian Point lace. Unfortunately I taught myself all those things because it was quite possibly the worst year I've had with tatting and my etsy store since I opened it ten years ago this April. Money has been tight and we've had quite a few large emergency type expenditures over the year as well. So I suppose like all years it wa a bit of a roller coaster.

Here's hoping 2016 will bring more customers to my shop, more creativity to my brain, and perhaps some positive exposure for my shop. I hope that the 2016 roller coaster will have far more ups than downs, metaphorically of course since that would be physically impossible. Thanks for spending some of your year reading my nonsense and don't forget to scroll down to yesterday's post and comment to enter the pattern giveaway and/or pop by my Facebook page to enter to win gift codes for my shop.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Year End Giveaway

I feel almost human this morning. I mean I'm definitely not at 100% or anything yet, but I also no longer feel like a walking virus, so I'm calling it a win. I didn't get round to much knitting yesterday as I decided to just focus on making the pair of barefoot sandals for the shop. Since I was focusing I actually finished the pair as well. It felt really good to be breathing a bit better and tatting all day again. My brain was still a bit foggy though, so I think it will still be a while before my creativity gets back to form though.

I am going ahead with a small end of the year giveaway both here and on my Facebook page. Just leave a comment on this blog post to enter to win this one, a collection of 3 of my tatting patterns currently listed for sale in my etsy shop. I'll email the winner(s) their choice of any 3 PDF's of my patterns. I haven't quite decided how many winners there will be yet though, at least one, but if there are many entries, I'll likely add additional winners based on the number. I'll pick winners early on Friday morning so please pop back to see if you've won. There will be a different giveaway on my Facebook page(later this morning), so feel free to enter both if you'd like, but you'll have to enter that one there.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Bit Better

I was still pretty out of it yesterday with the cold, though I seem to be a bit better this morning. It's really too soon to tell how the day will progress, but I'm cautiously optimistic that I'm finally on the upswing. I'm even typing better this morning. I mostly worked on the knitted lace top I showed you yesterday. I'm using this Cancun Boxy Lace Top pattern as the base, but since I could never get away with wearing something so short, I'm doing it longer and I might muck about to give it more sleeve as well, but for now I've finished one side.
I also remade this tatted bracelet after sending one off to it's new owner. Well that's not exactly the right order. I checked to see if the measurement of the one I had made matched the length in the listing and it was too short so I made a new one first with the right length then edited the listing to reflect the length of the one I had on hand. I tat much tighter than I used to and I find that when I remake old pieces they get shorter. They look better too, but that's not the point. Replicating my older pieces is getting more difficult as I must now change stitch counts so they work properly. Luckily that's only something another tatter might catch as a difference. I try my best to make sure they still look like the photographs.

I did get another order in the shop yesterday, quite unexpectedly. That means along with my knitting I also have a pair of barefoot sandals to tat up. I rarely finish those in one day, so that gives some work for tomorrow as well. I'm still thinking on what to do for a giveaway, but I want to do something before the week is out. My brain seems less foggy now though, so perhaps today is the day I get a good idea. Anything's possible, right?

Monday, December 28, 2015

I Have a Cold

It was quite a whirlwind weekend. Adding to the excitement was the cold that my husband successfully passed onto the rest of us. Yep, I am currently pretty miserable and have been for the last couple of days. Luckily the worst of it didn't hit until after Christmas. We did have a lovely holiday with over 20 people in the house. There were gifts and food and pure chaos. We even managed to get it all cleaned up before misery won and I collapsed on the couch with a Doctor Who marathon for two days.

While my mind was muddled by virus...well, it still it, but that's not the point, I knitted. I found a pattern for a lacy boxy sweater that matched the size of the yarn I have on hand. It's been a nice, simple, repetitive pattern and that's exactly what I needed to keep my hands busy, but my mind resting.

I did receive just one order over the weekend, so I have a bracelet I'm going to tat up today. If history repeats, the rest of this month will see little to no sales in my shop, so it's time to see if I can wake up my creativity again. I think I might have to wait until the virus is dead though...I can barely type a coherent sentence this morning.

Here's to getting better fast and getting my brain back on track.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy, Merry

I completely forgot to write yesterday morning as I got occupied with other holiday related matters. Mostly I was getting things ready for this morning, but I'm back today. So Happy Friday, or Merry Christmas, whichever you're most happy to have today. I have a house already full of sleeping relatives and come afternoon, there will be many more. In fact I think this year we might be stretching capacity at our house, but there's nothing for it.

There will definitely be cleaning, cooking, eating, and more cleaning and it will be loud. I'm all but certain that I will have no time for creativity today, but hopefully I'll find something interesting enough to share for Monday. I do plan on having a small giveaway here and on my Facebook page to close out the year next week. Not sure what going to be given, but something. Opinions on what you'd like to see would be appreciated. In meantime have a lovely weekend and thank you for everything.

Current & Final Etsy Shop Sale: 10% off with the code HOLIDAY10. Code is good through Dec. 27

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Just a quick post this morning. Yesterday was mostly cleaning and then visiting with some impromptu babysitting unexpectedly thrown into the mix. I managed some knitting while visiting, but nothing to take a picture of and share.

Today I promise I won't clean anything, but there will be one more house guest added today and then we're all headed out to see the new Star Wars movie. I can't imagine I'll get anything made or done that will be impressive for tomorrow's post, but you know I'll write anyway because habit is a powerful mistress. Maybe I'll just try to find something interesting to take a picture of, who knows.

Current & Final Etsy Shop Sale: 10% off with the code HOLIDAY10. Code is good through Dec. 27

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Sweet relief. I got so many things done yesterday that I am finally mostly stress free about the upcoming holidays and the guests they bring. I cleaned most of the house including the dreaded bathrooms. I finished tatting up snowflakes and got them glittered and finished. I cut, folded, and assembled countless pillow boxes to wrap all the presents in. Of course that part came with a slight X-Acto knife injury to the tip of my index finger that is currently making typing less than comfortable.

The best thing that happened yesterday was definitely the conclusion to the most recent missing package saga. The wonderful customer whose tracking erroneously said the package was delivered went to her local post office with the tracking info and was informed that the package was there, but opened. Seems it was likely a caught red handed postal employee moment. The good news is the inner wrapping was not disturbed and the custom made gift that it contains can now be given. This development reduced my stress level immensely and I am so glad for the customer as well.

They'll be just a bit more cleaning this morning before my brother and sister-in-law arrive and then I can sit down, visit, and maybe tat for pleasure. The rest of the week should be busy, but the good busy that comes from family gatherings, not shipping deadlines. 

Current & Final Etsy Shop Sale: 10% off with the code HOLIDAY10. Code is good through Dec. 27

Monday, December 21, 2015

Weekend Recap

It was one of those up and down sort of weekends. We managed to finish all our holiday shopping and avoided all retail outlets on Saturday. Years working retail has given me a healthy fear of shopping the weekend before Christmas. I got one order on Friday, so I had a little tatting to do while I caught up on television. The worst event of the weekend was the dreaded lost package message. It is especially bad this time of year. Even though I have no control of shippers, I always feel so bad when presents go astray. Right now I'm just waiting to hear back before I get to wok remaking the custom piece that was in the order.

I also got some more tatted snowflakes made up since I gifted a handful of them at a gathering of friends this weekend. I'm always so relieved when they seem to actually like them. I always get nervous that they think they are the equivalent of macaroni art or something. The gathering itself was of course the highlight of our weekend, but I'm still a bit tired from staying out so late.

Sunday was a wash really, though I did get some of the cleaning needed done in anticipation of our house guests this week. That's the plan for today as well. I also need to get wrapping because there is a pile of gifts on my desk that are taking over. Even without schooling this is going to be one long, busy week.

Current & Final Etsy Shop Sale: 10% off with the code HOLIDAY10. Code is good through Dec. 27

Friday, December 18, 2015

That's Done

I realized I was running out of time yesterday while I was writing here, so I set about to get a few things actually done. I started by cleaning out and prepping one guest room. That included washing sheets and relocating various piles of accumulated stuff. When that was done, I pulled out the fabric and staple gun and finished upholstering all the chairs. It was at this time that I regretted buying the least expensive staple gun as it continued to misfire on me. My level of frustration was extremely high. I did manage to finish all of them though. Then it was cleaning off a couple of counters until lunch and the other guest room started after lunch.

We even managed to wrap up most of the remaining holiday shopping in the evening. I still have wrapping to do and my hands are killing me after the chairs, but I feel ever so slightly less stressed out about the weekend. The kids last day of schooling is today as well, so I think I might just collapse into ball this evening, maybe with a bottle of wine. Hopefully I'll do something creative over the weekend to share, but there aren't good odds for that happening.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 15% off with the code HOLIDAY215. Code is good through Dec. 20

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Some Tatting

Since I actually started yesterday with an order in my etsy shop, I had tatting to do. My only regret is that they were all incredibly quick pieces to make. Of course I imagine that's a plus for the person who purchased them as gifts. They'll be out in the post this morning with a shipping upgrade as a gift from me.

I didn't tackle any more chairs yesterday. I decided that I should let my hand recover a bit so I'm not bruising a bruise. Instead I knitted and read the rest of the day. I'll probably get back to chairs today though. I'm running out of time to clean up the house before we host holiday house guests. My brother and sister-in-law will be here the longest starting on Tuesday, but my other brother will be staying here as well. I'm totally just stalling on all the things I know I should do. We haven't even finished shopping for gifts yet. There used to be a time when I had those all wrapped up before Thanksgiving to avoid all this stress. This year I'm apparently trying to win a procrastination award. Here's to a productive day in something anyway.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 15% off with the code HOLIDAY215. Code is good through Dec. 20

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Yesterday went a weird direction on me. After schooling, I worked on the knitting project for a bit. Then we had a family dental appointment. After that we popped by the fabric store to get some material to reupholster our 8 dinning room chairs. The fabric on them has been wearing for some time. It's a weave with a thin thread over a thicker core thread and it's been splitting. The last straw was the pet rats though. Two chairs ended up pushed a bit too close to their cage and they chewed through the sides. So, it was time to make them look nice before we host yet another holiday dinner.

So, yes I spent the rest of the afternoon measuring, cutting material and getting three of the chairs done. The one on the left is the old material. You can see the splitting on front right corner. We tried to get material in the same color family, but it's a bit lighter and luckily denser too. I think I did a pretty good job though it's definitely not perfect.

I woke up to a custom order this morning, so that will be on the agenda today. It will be followed by the chairs. I've got a couple of weeks to get them all done, so I'm not actually in any rush. Maybe I'll just do one at a time, plus using the staple gun left me with a sore hand. I guess it's just been too long since I used one. I've also still got the knitting as well, so I should stay nice and busy for a little while at least.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 15% off with the code HOLIDAY215. Code is good through Dec. 20

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


It was a housework kind of day yesterday. No new orders in the shop so when the time did finally come to sit down and catch up on shows with the kids, I opted for a little knitting.It's nothing big, nor fancy, just something to keep my hands busy when they would otherwise be idle.

As the days go by, it does get less likely that I'll get any more sales in the shop before Christmas. It's just getting too close to shop anywhere that ships first class. If you were running late though and wanted anything faster, I can ship priority upon request. Otherwise I'm just trying to focus on everything else that needs doing this time of year.

Once the holidays are past I usually have the time and inclination to start designing again, so I'll just start looking forward to that and start thinking about what I might want to create. Until then I'll clean and knit and try not to stress out on anything.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 15% off with the code HOLIDAY215. Code is good through Dec. 20

Monday, December 14, 2015

Weekend Recap was a nice quiet weekend really. I did a little light cleaning on Friday, but that was it. I sold one of this mask late on Friday, so I spent both the rest of that day and a bit of Saturday making a new one. The rest of Saturday was pretty boring, though we did get out for a nice walk before the weather started to turn.
On Sunday we did a little holiday shopping and I came home to an order for a choker. I spent the rest of the day catching up with dvr'd shows and tatting up that choker. That was pretty much the whole of my weekend.

This is our last week of schooling before winter break and I'm finding myself a bit more stressed out than I'd like to be. The semester is getting away from us and there's still so much that needs doing. So add that to the usual holiday stress and other silly nonsense and I pretty much want to crawl in a hole for awhile and hibernate. Instead though, I'll just keep plugging along and hope for the best.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 15% off with the code HOLIDAY215. Code is good through Dec. 20

Friday, December 11, 2015


I tatted snowflakes yesterday and read. Yep, that was mostly it. This is the one I designed this year, but it's merely a modified version of last year's. If you missed it, the pattern for it is listed here on the blog for free. Of course I now have fresh ones you can buy as well. I finish them with glitter modge podge that both stiffens them and gives them that little extra embellishment.

I don't have any plans for today at all as I've remade everything that has sold this season. I'm sure I'll find something to occupy my day, for I fear there may be cleaning if I don't. I also fear it may be more snowflakes.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 20% off with the code HOLIDAY20. Code is good through Dec. 13

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Work and Hope

I had a lovely, busy day yesterday. I finished the necklace I was working on and started back on the bracelet that I had made just the other day since that one had sold straight away. Then just after schooling there was another, different bracelet sold and I managed to pop that one right in the mail. Remaking that was the rest of my day. Well, that and laundry and dishes and reading.

I've finished all of that though, so I'm starting today with no projects. I mean, I do still have the reading, but the tatting is all caught up with. Oh wait, I just remembered that I still have snowflakes to make up for the shop, I'm fairly certain that it's far too late for them to sell this year, but that will give me something to work on this morning and afternoon while I cross my fingers for another sale. I guess that the plan for today then, work and hope.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 20% off with the code HOLIDAY20. Code is good through Dec. 13

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


So I spent a really long day mostly in a car and I did nothing of consequence while I was there. Our drive out of town was almost completed in the dark so I couldn't work. On the drive home I just didn't want to work. We were out for a doctor's appointment, but we also tried to do some shopping. It was a complete failure at the big fancy mall, but on the way home we redeemed ourselves with some gifts purchased at an outlet mall.

When we got home, it was still early enough that I managed to finish the necklace I was working on the day before. I was also quite happy to come home to two more orders. One for the bracelet I just finished making and one for a set of snowflakes. This is the first set I've sold of them. So today I'll get a few more made up as well as the bracelet. That should keep me busy all day.

Also, thanks for letting me know about my sale typo yesterday. The code was and is still good, I only made a mistake by copying and pasting it from the days before and didn't change all the things I should have. So I guess that's what I get for being so lazy.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 20% off with the code HOLIDAY20. Code is good through Dec. 13

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


I got in lots of reading yesterday, but just a little tatting. I didn't even manage to finish the necklace I was remaking. To be fair it is a denser design and it does take more time than many of my other pieces. Really though, I was just sucked into the novel and had a hard time focusing on doing both at once. I did take a television break at one point and sped through more tatting, but then I was back to reading when the shows were over.

Today we'll be out of town for much of the day starting at an ungodly hour this morning. This is why I'm writing at an even earlier hour than usual. I'll likely bring this necklace to work on once the sun is up, but I have no illusions about actually finishing it. I generally don't get anything done in the car, too distracting. Hopefully I'll get some sales while I'm gone so I'll have something to work on tomorrow. If not, I have four more books in the series to get through. Though reading does make for short and boring blog posts.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 20% off with the code HOLIDAY20. Code is good through Dec. 13

Monday, December 7, 2015

Weekend Recap
Let's see, I used Friday to finally finish remaking the bracelet I had been working on. It's one of my favorite creations actually. It's dense and strong, and from a distance, looks a bit like a machine made lace. After that was made I had nothing else in queue to make though. I did work on a crochet bag with some free time and with the rest I read. The husband has been a fan of The Dark Tower series for years and after a different book I read referenced it, I decided to give it a go. I finished book one on Wednesday, book two Saturday and I'm about a third of the way through book three now. The books in the rest of the series seem to get much thicker though, so I'm certain to be slowing down, but it gives me something else to use my time for.

The rest of the weekend was pretty lazy and contained no tatting. Right before bed last night, I did get another order in my shop. It was for a choker, so that should give me something to work on all day. The sale is my esty shop has changed again. This week it's just 20% off, not a bad deal either, though only one person used the code last week. I'm hoping for a few more this week as there is still plenty of time to ship them.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 20% off with the code HOLIDAY20. Code is good through Nov. 13

Friday, December 4, 2015


I am exhausted. We had a wonderful day though. We took the train to Sacramento then the  group had free time to do whatever we wanted before we were to meet at the train museum. We opted to visit the Crocker Art Museum. It was the kids first visit to a proper art museum and it was pretty nice. Though really we ended up having neither the time nor the energy to take it all in. It turned out to be much larger than it had at first appeared and the children also enjoyed it more than I think they thought they would.

Then we hoofed it through Old Town, had lunch, shopped a little, then it was onto the second museum of the day, The California State Railroad Museum. This entailed much more walking. We'd been there before so it we found the few new things to entertain us.

Finally it was another walk to the train station and a train ride home. We were out of the house for over 12 hours and I think we all almost collapsed into bed when we got home. I did manage to crochet a little on the train, but I got around to no tatting. This means I start today with a bracelet to finish. Good thing too because there were no new orders while we were gone. I'm hoping that the weekend picks up some more, but if not I may just use the time to rest a bit.

Thursday, December 3, 2015


I'm in a bit of hurry this morning as we have a day long outing for schooling with the kids. We will be on a train trip that ends in Sacramento and visits the Train museum there. It starts very early and ends very late so I imagine that tomorrow's blog post will be as brief and uneventful as this one.

Yesterday saw no sales in the shop, but I still haven't finished the bracelet I needed to remake from the last sale I got. I'll probably take that on the train with me, or maybe some slightly mindless crochet. I haven't decided yet, though I don't have much time to do so. In fact as I clearly have nothing of consequence to share, I think I'll just leave this here and hope that something fantastic will happen while I'm out of the house.What, it could happen.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 25% off with the code HOLIDAY25. Code is good through Nov. 6

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


One of my least favorite parts of selling pieces online reared it's head a few days ago, the lost package. There are certainly worse parts, but it's definitely up there. Luckily it was accompanied by a very patient and understanding customer. I watched the tracking on it a few days hoping it would start moving again, but after a week in one place, I can only assume it's been irreversibly misplaced, or stolen. So I spent the morning remaking the Tardis blue key choker necklace so I can send a replacement out today. While I was at it I made one last one for the shop. It's the last for a while as I used up this thread almost completely. I definitely won't be ordering anymore thread until after the holidays at least, so yep, it's the last one for now.

After that it was back to remaking a pair of ankle corsets and crossing my fingers that more orders would arrive. I had had a custom request overnight the night before last, but the customer has yet to purchase the custom listing or reply to my message so I can probably assume that they've changed their mind. I did get a bracelet order in the evening though and that will give me something to make this afternoon when I finish the ankle corsets. I am quite enjoying being busy and I've taken to reading again while I tat. I finished two novels yesterday alone. They weren't long or particularly complex reads, but it always makes me feel like I accomplished something when I can not only make things, but finish a book at the same time. Let's hope the busy keeps right on coming!

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 25% off with the code HOLIDAY25. Code is good through Nov. 6

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Another busy day in the books. I started the day getting all the orders I had over the weekend into the mail. Then it was straight to remaking them for the shop. I started with this Medallion Hex. I designed this one about a year ago I think. I like it better in more than one color, but the one that sold was solid black, so that's the one that I remade.

After that was done it was back to the barefoot sandals I've been
working on. They are a much bigger project so I kept putting them down to do smaller ones. I still haven't relisted them in the shop yet, but I did manage to get them done. After that I still have a pair of ankle corsets to make. I always keep two pairs of them made because they take so long to tat up.

Yesterday wasn't a particularity busy sales day, especially compared to the weekend, but I did sell one necklace. I'll work on getting that one remade today as well as the ankle corsets. I'll also keep posting shameless self promotions all day in an effort to keep the ball rolling. Here's to another busy and productive day!

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 25% off with the code HOLIDAY25. Code is good through Nov. 6