Monday, November 30, 2015

Busy

What a weekend. On Friday we tried to recover from the Thanksgiving feast, but then we followed it with a second dinner with friends. It was a lovely laughter filled night and we stayed up too late and ate too much. Then there was a little shopping and the putting up of all the Christmas decorations over the weekend. In between all that I was so happy to have plenty of tatting to do! I had orders with pieces to remake and one custom order for a particularly lovely repeat customer. That's what this piece here is.

I am starting this week with plenty of pieces that need remaking and I couldn't be more pleased. I'm going to keep working as fast as I can to take advantage of the situation while it lasts. Which reminds me my sale has adjusted to the next percent off, so until next Sunday it's 25% off which is still a really good deal. Now it's off to get to work.

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

Friday, November 27, 2015

After

I'm up an writing even earlier than usual. No, it's not because I went shopping. The husband went shopping, confusing the cats into thinking that it was morning an hour earlier than usual, so here I am due to a relentless cat alarm clock.

I'm afraid I have no tatting to show you as I spent the day cleaning, prepping and then finally enjoying family and food for much of the day. My brother is staying with us and my sister and her kids managed to hang around for five hours, so it was nonstop entertainment.

I did sell a couple of bracelets yesterday, so I do have some tatting to get done today. I am of course hoping for more sales this weekend as everyone should be in the mood to shop. I know I'm in the mood, but a lack of sales in my own store means I don't get to. That's okay though I'll make up replacement bracelets and spend the day recovering with my fingers crossed.

I'll leave you with a photo example of the chaos that reined here yesterday. This is my brother carrying one of my sister's daughters and giving her oldest son a piggyback ride at the same time. There was much more of this nonsense and if I hadn't had to do so many dishes, it would have been a perfect day.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 30% off with the code HOLIDAY30. Code is good through Nov. 29

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thank You!

 Vintage vector designed by Freepik
I don't have much to share from yesterday. We headed out and ran some errands just to get out of the house and I crocheted quite a bit as we sat about, in between doing laundry anyway. I don't suppose there are too many people with extra time to read today anyhow, well in the States. The rest of the world is Thursday as usual.

Since it is Thanksgiving around these parts I thought I'd go ahead and say Thank You, to all of you. Thanks for reading, for tatting, for buying my pieces and my patterns. Thanks for commenting and making me feel less like I'm talking to myself. Thank you especially to those of you that I've virtually met through this forum and gotten on with so well. I appreciate all of it!

I'll be back to lamenting over sales and a lack of inspiration tomorrow, oh and cleaning, I'm sure to talk about that too. Maybe I'll even talk about tatting. You never know what the day will bring.


Current Etsy Shop Sale: 30% off with the code HOLIDAY30. Code is good through Nov. 29

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

That's One

Well yesterday's sale launch enticed one person to make a necklace purchase. This gave me something to remake for the shop and I can't tell you how happy I was just to be tatting with purpose. It's not anything new of course. I really miss when I had something that needed tatting everyday. I had to work hard to find time to create anything new. It's been quite some time since that was true around here though. More often than not I'm digging through drawers looking for yarn I've stashed away to give my fingers something to do since I cannot justify buying any craft supplies.

I finished making the necklace so I start today with no projects in queue again. The house is pretty much holiday dinner ready, so I'll dig for more yarn and/or cross my fingers that more folks will stumble upon my sale and get a deal that keeps me busy. I know I can't compete with big box sales, but I can at least make a small effort. Sorry in advance for what will likely be a month long display of shameless self promotion.

Current Etsy Shop Sale: 30% off with the code HOLIDAY30. Code is good through Nov. 29

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

SALE

As I was getting ready to write this morning I noticed that apparently yesterday was my 2000th blog post here. Yikes, right? I completely wasted too, no hoopla, nothing interesting at all. Unfortunately I'm not going to redeem myself with this post either.

I didn't do much creative yesterday at all except for making a graphic to announce my holiday sale. Of course that was it's own drama as the free program I usually use decided that it wasn't even going to bother opening anymore. After troubleshooting the problem for far too long, I opted to upgrade to a paid program. That just began a whole new drama as I had to learn to use it as well. I sometimes miss the era of printed instruction booklets. I did get the graphic done, then realized after I posted it everywhere that I messed it up. I then deleted it from everywhere, made another and reposted it. After all that I was definitely done with making anything for the day.
http://totusmel.etsy.com
Here you go though, my Diminishing Returns Holiday Sale. Each week the discount goes down a little, but there's a sale code for every week including the week of Christmas. This week it starts with 30% off with the code HOLIDAY30. The code is good on everything in my etsy shop including patterns. Please do share, shop, and save this season! I'm hoping a sale can revive my sleeping shop and put a little money in the coffers so I can shop for the holidays too.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lost Time

Well, let's see, I did remake the blue choker and got it back up into the shop on Friday. I did not fix the purple one though and for the life of me I can't remember what might have distracted me from doing so at the time.

The rest of the weekend was a complete wash. No sales to encourage me to tat and the release of Jessica Jones on Netflix had the entire family glued to the television for pretty much the whole weekend. While I could have worked on something interesting with all that sitting time, I just knitted fingerless gloves. I could do that without paying much attention to what I was doing. In case you're wondering, yes, we did watch the entire season. Also, yes it was very good.

This week promises to lack as much productiveness as the weekend. two days of schooling followed by vacation for the kids and the husband. Family dinners, house guests and copious amounts of cleaning. I hope I can squeeze in some creativity and I'm also mulling over a sale for my etsy shop. Any opinions on what would get you to shop would be appreciated. Other than that I'm just going to play the week by ear.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tardis Blue

Yesterday morning as I was schooling the kids I had an exchange on my Facebook page that resulted in my making another key choker in what will now be known as Tardis blue. I really can't believe that I hadn't thought of it myself. It seems like an obvious choice now as I am a Doctor Who fan as well. I got it done by late afternoon and as I started the process of getting the green, purple and blue ones ready to list, I realized that I had made a silly error with the purple one. It was too short. I must have counted wrong and into the pile to be fixed, that one went.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/256968599/tatted-lace-choker-necklace-lace-key?
The others went into the shop and the Tardis blue one found it's home quickly with the lovely person who had suggested it in the first place. The green one is still up in the shop and I'm going to try to fix the purple one today and get that listed as well. I'll also likely remake the blue one so it is in the shop too. After that though, I think I might have to stop with this piece for a while. It's getting a bit repetitive and I'm hoping I've got another idea or two hiding in my head. Though this weekend will likely consist of more cleaning to prepare to host the holiday meal on Thursday so who knows if my brain will be on at all. Only time will tell.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

In Red

Even before I started schooling for the day yesterday, I asked over on my Facebook page for color suggestions for the new choker. Thankfully they responded quickly and I started to work while the children learned. In fact I got so many color suggestions that there is literally no way I can make them all. 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/256909486/tatted-lace-choker-necklace-lace-key?
I started with Victorian red and managed to get that one done by the time schooling was over. I then tackled an emerald green, though technically the color is called Christmas green. That one is done as well and I started on a dark purple before the day was over, but back to the gray and red. I got them both photographed and listed in my etsy shop. I listed them at the lowest price I felt comfortable. In fact they are just a dollar more than the simple black, metal-free choker. My sincere hope is that they are the right price to encourage people to buy them as easy gifts.

I have already sold one gray one and I couldn't be happier to send that off this morning. I actually made another gray as well to keep it listed in the shop. I'm going to try to get the purple one done this morning and get both that one and the green one listed after lunch. I've got a few more colors in queue to make and since the only supplies I need for this piece are thread and key charms, I can make them until I run out of keys. I doubt I will, but this should keep me busy until, hopefully, another idea comes along.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I Tatted

I actually got the small white doily done while schooling the kids for the day. While they absolutely need me with them, there are less hands on things I need to do for either of them. This means that I can usually accomplish something else as long as it isn't too distracting. I think the doily is going to work just fine for the crochet trees. Now I just need to decorate the trees a little. I'm not yet sure how I'm going to do so, but I'll come up with something.

I didn't want to work on the decoration yet as I didn't want to waste the tatting momentum I'd gathered working on the doily. Of course I had hoped that a sale would appear or that I would get some complicated and original idea, but neither of those things happened. Instead I had a simple idea and ran with it. I grabbed a ball of charcoal gray thread and a key pendant and came up with this choker.

I made up the piece as I went, but it's hardly complex. I just needed to make sure the math allowed for it to be the right length for a slide closure. I can't call this one metal free because of the pendant, but adding the slide closure meant that I was done without adding any hardware. The plan is to get this in the shop today and hopefully make another in a different color. Any color requests would be gladly received as I am dangerously low on motivation and every comment that encourages me to work on anything is like gold right now. I usually rely on sales to keep me focused and without them I'm a bit rudderless, if you couldn't tell by the recent parade of crochet and knitting. Crossing my fingers yet again for some change.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Little Trees

Nothing interesting happened yesterday, nor did I get any ideas of any value.There was schooling followed by me trying to fix our malfunctioning gas fireplace. I think I may have failed on the last point, though it did get a good cleaning regardless. When I finally sat down to do something creative I ended up crocheting little cone shaped trees. I'm thinking of making little displays to give away to the family. I figured I can add little beads or something as decoration. This did however, lead me back to some tatting. I thought the piece could use a doily under it to pull it together. To that end I started tatting up the small doily version of my Gothic doily. This time in size 20 white thread.
I still have quite a few more rounds to go on it, but when it's done it should fit under all the little trees. Then I'll decorate them and perhaps give them to relatives on Thanksgiving, because giving holiday decorations on the holiday is perhaps one of the more pointless things I can think of. I'm also hoping that getting some tatting done will get my brain thinking about designing. I need to do something to get people shopping in my store again. I sold a couple of patterns yesterday, which I am thankful for, but they are definitely not the finished pieces I need to sell. Oh well, off to the day then with fingers crossed.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Weekend Making

Unfortunately the weekend did nothing to alleviate the tatting slump I'm in. My shop stayed mercilessly quiet and I found other fiber arts with which to occupy my sitting time. Of course I had less sitting time that I would have liked as we continued cleaning out the garage on Saturday. I also tackles more cleaning inside the house in a feeble attempt to keep it clean for the upcoming holidays. More cleaning now means less then, maybe.

What I did do was finish the knit triangle scarf. The second time was charm. I knit it on rather large needles the drape was much, much better this go. It was also significantly larger with the same amount of yarn. I'm just glad it's finally done.

On Saturday afternoon, after the cleaning and some rest, I actually browsed through pages of patterns on Ravelry looking for something to make. I settled on a crochet bag that I could hand on our coat rack and keep all our fingerless gloves in. Yes, I crocheted something to keep all the things I already knitted it. I used this pattern, though I mucked with it a lot. I added some rounds. Then I decided to trim the bottom with a scallop, you know since I still had some yarn left in the skein. Though I realize that you can't see said scallop in this picture. When it hands on the coat rack, it's perfectly visible.

So that's it then. No sales in the shop for over a week now. No tatting ideas and I'm starting to run out of extra stash yarn to play with. The house is even clean, so I can't distract myself with that either. Here's hoping something changes really, really soon.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Elephant

I started the day just working on the knit triangle scarf, but halfway through schooling we took a look at the calendar. There was one more kid's birthday before Christmas that needed a gift. The kids assured me that an elephant would be perfect, so I made one.

I found the pattern on Ravelry here. Yet again I managed to find one that needed no sewing at all. Those are my favorite ones. Funny thing is I don't mind sewing, I just like to not have to do it while crocheting or knitting. It took much of the day to get this one put together though. There was a little complicated short row nonsense in creating the trunk and head, but it turned out so nice it was worth the extra effort.

After I finished the elephant it was back to knitting the scarf. It's been a couple of days since any sale in my shop and a few more than that since any actual pieces were sold, so I'm quickly sliding back into a tatting funk. I was hoping that the creating and posting the patterns would jump start sales or just my creativity, but it seems I was wrong on both counts. Here's hoping the weekend brings winds of change.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ugh

Let's see, I really didn't do much yesterday. The husband had the day off and the children didn't have school either so we ran some errands and watched some television together. While I sat I finished the triangle scarf I was making, realized that it was awful and then unraveled it. Sometimes following patterns exactly as written is just the wrong thing to do.

I did start over on the scarf. This time I used much larger needles and it seems to be working up much nicer. I can already tell that it will lie better, or is that lay better? How about, it will clearly drape better.

I'll keep working on this while I wait for a better idea. Of course last time I waited for a better idea, I wrote up yesterday's pattern for the blog. If I keep doing that to cure boredom I'll probably never sell another piece in the shop. I definitely need to focus more and making some money especially given the time of year. So here's to a busy shop and busy hands sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Threes Snowflake Pattern

I had very little creative energy yesterday, so instead of trying to make something new, I decided that I would spend some time putting together the most recent version of my threes snowflake pattern for you. Yep, a free pattern completely out of the blue. It's a simple one, but it's also a really easy introduction to weaving chains if you haven't tried it yet. I hope you enjoy it. I also hope I have a better day today.

 Threes Snowflake Pattern

(abbreviations: r-ring, lr-large ring, ds-double stitch, p-picot, lp-long picot, cl-close, rw-reverse work)

lr 3ds p 3ds p 6ds p 2ds p 6ds p 3ds p 3ds cl rw
ch 8ds cl do not rw
r 4ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 4ds cl do not rw
ch 8ds cl rw
r 3ds join to 2nd to last p of previous lr 3ds p 3ds cl rw
ch 8ds cl do not rw
r 4ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 4ds cl do not rw
ch 8ds cl rw
lr 3ds p 3ds join to p of previous r 6ds join to p of previous lr 2ds p 6ds p 3ds p 3ds cl rw
ch 8ds cl do not rw
r 4ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 4ds cl do not rw
ch 8ds cl rw
r 3ds join to 2nd to last p of previous lr 3ds p 3ds cl rw
ch 8ds cl do not rw
r 4ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 4ds cl do not rw
ch 8ds cl rw
lr 3ds p 3ds join to p of previous r 6ds join to p of previous lr 2ds join to p from 1st lr 6ds p 3ds p 3ds cl rw
ch 8ds cl do not rw
r 4ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 4ds cl do not rw
ch 8ds cl rw
r 3ds join to 2nd to last p of previous lr 3ds join to p of 1st lr 3ds cl rw
ch 8ds cl do not rw
r 4ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 4ds cl do not rw
ch 8ds join to 1st ring, tie, cut and hide ends.

Woven chain

join thread to free picot of large ring
ch 8ds p 1ds lp 1ds p 8ds weave over 8ds chain and under next 8ds chain join to picot of next free picot
cut approximately 75” of thread off ball for easier weaving at this point
repeat chain 5 times weaving over and under chains as shown.

Like all my free patterns, I'd appreciate it if you would please use it for personal use, gift giving or off line sale only. I really do hope that you like the surprise pattern. I figured maybe after a little chain weaving more folks might pop over to my shop and pick up the Gothic Doily pattern to try some more. Or maybe they'll just be more tatted snowflakes in the world.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Knit

I stalled for a really long time yesterday hoping that something would come up, a sale, an idea, something. Of course nothing did and even though I had laundry to do and a few other domestic tasks to attend to I started feeling the dreaded boredom. I tried thinking of something new to tat, but I was coming up blank. Instead I browsed through Ravelry looking for patterns that might fit the yarn I have on hand. I landed on a small triangle shawl shaped scarf.

 I'm nowhere near done with it, which is good. That gives me something to do with my hands while I wait for a sale or an idea. I actually think that if this one turns out good, it might make a nice gift for the one niece that was not feeling the crochet cardigan. Of course I'd buy fresh yarn for her, but first I have to finish this one. It's really hard to tell how it'll look when it's still on the needles because of the weird construction of triangle scarves.

That's all I've got then. I'll knit until something comes up. Oh, thanks to all of you out there who have picked up my new pattern. I know I priced it a bit on the high side, but it was definitely the longest one I've ever written. I hope you feel like it's worth it and I can't wait to see everyone's work from it.

Monday, November 9, 2015

New Pattern Listed!

So I actually can't remember if I got round to doing anything worth while on Friday. Oh wait, that's right I used the time to clean again. This time I tackled the children's ever expanding Lego collection that was being overtaken by dust bunnies courtesy of the cats.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/255199828/pdf-tatting-pattern-gothic-doily-pendant?
Saturday's projects were many, but let me start with the one might care about. The new tatting pattern was finished being test tatted by the lovely Kersti. After being given several incredible and useful notes with which to improve the pattern, I got it edited and up in the shop. I'm calling it Gothic Doily, though the pattern contains directions for stopping in order to create the pendant and the smaller doily version as well. I've been assured that it can be worked with a shuttle as well and since all the weaving is done with chains, you may not even need a Celtic shuttle to do so. I have already sold a few copies of this, so that's a good sign. It's my longest written pattern yet and I sure hope everyone who picks it up loves making it!

Other Saturday projects included cleaning up half the garage which gave me nightmare juice as well as some high quality allergy attacks. Then by way of relaxing afterwards I made up this cute little crochet pig as a birthday gift for one of my nieces. The pattern is here. The top hat was my addition. Well it was mine after the husband continued to insist that the pig needed a sombrero. I insisted it didn't, repeatedly. Then he changed his tactic to top hat and I finally caved and made one up. I admit, it looks extra cute with a hat.

Sunday was the great winter wardrobe change for the girls. Old outgrown clothes were put boxed up, winter clothes that still fit brought out and summer put away. I also earned more lovely allergy attacks from the boxed clothes. Before you ask yes I had taken allergy medication before both cleaning jobs. The allergens just proved stronger. All this gave me great exhaustion last night and I slept like a log.

 I'm hoping that this week will contain no cleaning and plenty of making. I got another sale in the shop over the weekend, though it was for something that I don't need to remake. That means i am starting this week with no projects in mine. Of course I've been managing to keep myself busy regardless. Here's hoping I don't need to think too hard to do so.

Friday, November 6, 2015

This and That

https://www.etsy.com/listing/254837547/tatted-lace-snowflake-ornament-holiday?First thing after schooling yesterday I got the new snowflakes finished, photographed and listed. I only made four of them and I was going to sit down and make more, just in case, but I realized I would just be setting myself up for having dozens of them sitting around here. I will instead just leave them be until someone actually purchases a few. I have them listed as both single and sets of three, so hopefully I'll at least sell a few this year.

I did also get a sale yesterday. Not a huge one, but I'll take what I can get. It was for my tatted Weave ring, but in the larger size that I offer, so I had something else to make for the day anyway. Once this was made I had again nothing left that needed doing really.

I found some more scrap yarn and crocheted up yet another
octopus. Man, do I hope that the kids in the family like these, because it is clear everyone is getting one for the holidays. Hell, at this point even the adults might end up with them. I even picked up some actual doll eyes so I could upgrade from the little buttons.

So again I start the day with no vital tasks, but I will keep my fingers busy somehow. I'm just hoping that two days in two days is the start of something and not just a fluke. The pressure to make money during the holidays is very real.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

That Was A Day

Schooling was a bit distracted yesterday as we were glued to the news coming in about our local University experiencing a campus stabbing. Certainly we're getting used to news like this, but not when it's just a few miles away and we have friends working and teaching on campus. Thankfully it ended quickly and much less tragically than similar events, but it does leave everyone with a feeling of unease for awhile.

It was a bit after schooling when I had just started contemplating what to get to making when I got an order in the shop. It was such a relieve to not only have finally sold a Romanian lace necklace, but also to have a small piece that needed to be custom made. This is my Flourish pendant made in Lizbeth harvest orange thread.

I think that working on this small piece finally put me in the mood to tat something. I decided that I was actually going to put some snowflakes in my shop this year. I searched through the many different ones I've made and designed over the years and settled on one from last year. I didn't want it to be just the same so I started playing with it. I guess since I've been doing so much weaving lately, it's not shocking that I went for a a little weaving to change it up. I also opted to use both white and a very light gray for a bit of a contrast.

I ended by adding a bit of glitter to both add some dimension to the
piece and stiffen it for hanging. I'm not certain whether it will be better to list them individually or as a set, but the plan is to get hooks on them today and get them in the shop. Then I'll cross my fingers and hope they're appealing enough to sell. Here's hoping!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Octopuses

So, I didn't get any sales in the shop yesterday and I certainly didn't have any awesome tatting ideas. What did I do with my time then? Well, I had leftover yearn from the gifts I'd recently made. Just enough of each color to make something small and adorable. I picked small and adorable octopuses to make with my time. The big one was made with this pattern. I chose it because it was a no-sew pattern and like most things I make, I want them to be done when I stop crocheting, or knitting, or tatting. I don't want to have to assemble a bunch of things.

The small one I made up myself using the same basic method as the larger one. I still had a little yarn left and the oldest daughter had a small one similar to it that we bought at the Ren Faire a couple of years back, so I tried to copy it by eye. I got close, but not exact.

As nothing else was happening to break the crochet streak, I continued making octopuses all day long. I figure I'll add them to the gifts going to nieces and nephews. That's right, people will suffer handmade gifts this year. Most of the leftover yarn wasn't enough to make an extra small one, but I'm certain there are more scraps around here somewhere and barring anything else important coming up, I'll just keep right on making these. I really do hope something more interesting or important does come up though.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Almost Done

After schooling yesterday I got to work on the transferring the Gothic doily pattern from text to PDF with pretty with pictures. Of course I also decided to use a different program for it and so I had to fiddle around and teach myself how to use it in this manner as well. All this learning and mucking about made this project last the entire day. I almost forgot to eat lunch I was so focused on getting it put together. In fact I did forget I was doing laundry until I was headed upstairs for the night and then I had to rush about to finish it before bed.

The result of all this is that the pattern is done pending test tatting. It is with someone right now and should hopefully be available for sale in my shop within the week. That is unless I complete botched writing out the pattern and it needs a complete reboot. I wish I could say that that is not a possibility, but it very clearly is.

I was going to post the picture I took for the front of the pattern, but I think I'll just save that for when it's ready to post the pattern. I don't want you to get sick of seeing it. So I'm starting today with absolutely no projects on hand. No tatting, knitting, crochet, Armenian lace, or anything else creative. So here's to a sale in the shop or a creative idea in my head to get me back to my favorite state of busy.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Weekend

https://twitter.com/TotusMel/status/660210265502318592My goodness, what an incredibly long and busy weekend. Friday started with schooling, then it was a bout of afternoon cleaning to prepare for guests on Saturday afternoon for my mom's birthday. I got to take a break from cleaning to get the kids ready to visit their father's work where they trick or treat every year. I took this picture of them before we left. I also posted this on twitter Friday as well, more on that in a minute. We spent some time at the afore mentioned rick or treating, then it was an evening of cleaning, mostly floors.

Saturday was early morning errands, last minute party prep, followed by a house full of people and food. That was in turn followed my more cleaning and a little afternoon rest before costumes were again donned. We headed to our friends' house to spend the evening with them and trick or treat in their neighborhood.

It was a nice long night with wine and good conversation. They even took a nice family photo of us before we went out. Of course my husband is hidden behind his paper craft mask. He spent weeks working on that thing. It turned out pretty good, though he complained about it's discomfort the whole time we were out.

Oh, one last thing, Saturday morning that picture of the kids got retweeted by Marvel and the kids got to be internet famous in a small circle of people for brief moment in time. It was just kind of cute so I thought I'd share that as well. Sunday, well we mostly just tried to recover from Halloween and the time change. The cats don't believe it changed and are insisting that I continue to wake up at what was the original wake up time. I'm going to have to baby step them to the new time. Until then I suffer.

I'll be working on the Gothic doily tatting pattern today and hopefully it should be ready to get in the shop in the next day or so. Other than that I have nothing else to work on since I did manage to finish the last circle cardigan gift while I recovered on Sunday. So here's to something new and interesting needing to be made by me soon.