June 29, 2010

My first Custom-er

Much in the way of craziness has gone on since my last blog post, but things are settlin down a tad and I can breathe easier I guess. One of the big changes around here is that we have a houseguest for the summer. A co-worker of my husbands is in need of a temporary place to live, so we offered our "playroom" with the futon, and he is helping toward the extra costs.....and he does the dishes several times a week. I was a little nervous about the whole setup at first, but everything is working out well. And, did I mention that he does dishes?
In the way of tatting, I scrambled last week to get ready and do another craft show. It was small but I did sell a few things, and made some contacts and got lots of interest. One idea that came from my mad get-ready scramble, is a simple treatment for tealights. I don't know if I'll sell them or not, but the idea was there so I did it just to work it out.

Here is another piece that was finished for the show, and it will be listed in the shop this afternoon.

In related news, I've had to be honest with myself and realize that I will not be able to sustain doing every craft show that comes my way. I have too many things going on in life! So I will probably do one more this summer, and then start working ahead for the holiday season and do one or two more shows.

In unrelated but exciting news, I have been comissioned by a fellow esty seller to make a set of jewelry for her traditional wedding in Estonia! I know that's in Europe, but I am going to pinpoint it on a map just for kicks. Anyway, this is my first custom request on Etsy, so that explains the title of this post. I will show the finished set once the wedding is over, but I am scrambling to finish it this week because of the expected shipping time....the wedding is in just a few weeks.

June 18, 2010

Needle tatting? My observations.

Why yes, I am needle tatting.

Now, there are nay sayers and boohooers about needle tatting, I personally learned needle tatting at the same time I learned shuttle tatting.

Initially I had gone back and forth between the two methods, but I eventually landed on shuttle tatting as my primary way of tatting. I find needle tatting to be softer in feel on a finished piece, and it is also easier to work in larger threads with a needle (at least it is for me). It definitely lends itself more towards the larger pieces that Totusmel is so well known for. Shuttle tatting I find to be more precise, there is a lot of tieing or SLT's in needle tatting, and working with two shuttles accomplishes that more cleanly, and the transitions are more exact.

My recent foray back into the world of needle tatting was initially inspired by Jessica Spaulding and her 3-D flowers. You may remember seeing a picture of her in my shuttlebirds post, anyway, she was gracious enough to share her instructions with me. Her method involves making rings that join together, and then they spiral around and you tie it together with a bead to finish. Very simple, gets the job done quite nicely. I like the flowers to be larger on the clippies I was making, but I was running into a problem with the final rings being unweildy when tatted large enough to make the size flower I wanted. Also, I couldn't figure out how to get her flowers to finish nicely without the bead. I was thinking about making some baby headbands, but I am wary of putting beads on an item that small fingers may try to pry apart. So I thought about it for some time, and eventually settled on a different method of constructing the flowers that uses chains instead of rings, and I am needle tatting them with size 10 thread to achieve the size that I want. Pictured above, you can see a finished baby headband, as well as another large pink flower, and a smaller flower done in size 20.

So yes, I do believe that needle tatting is a wonderful extention of the art of tatting, I would encourage all to try both and see what they like, even if it is only to see and understand the differences and similarities. I think in the future I may post some comparisons, but that will wait for another day. children must be fed!

Dr. Vonthreadmore sends her regards, she is patiently waiting for me to find the time to wind her some thread......

June 14, 2010

Oh I am in love.

Fabric covered buttons! They are so cool!
I've made some rings and bookmarks with little flowers and scraps of fabric.
SOOOOOoooo much fun.

June 12, 2010

The process creative

I've hired an assistant.
She hasn't been named, but she is a half body foam rubber mannequin.
I like her. She listens well.
And, she doesn't mind posing for photos without pay.
My new design assistant came into emply upon being found in a friends basement. If I hadn't taken her in, who knows what would have become of her. She is grateful.
So. with life aflutter all around me the rest of the day, I find myself looking forward to our time together in the evenings. We lay out projects, discuss color and design, and contemplate the meaning of all things creative.......like the current WIP that she is currently holding. It's a bib style necklace (well, it will be.) with various rosettes and flowers. It's also a great look at my creative process and how I go about creating.
Very rarely, if ever, do I pre-design something. The best pieces (in my opinion for whatever it matters) come from the flow of the process, and just happen. I'm like that in most areas of life. Planning ahead at anything is soooo painful for me. Seat of the pants is the way I'd rather do most things, however much frustration this may bring. And surprisingly, my day job is to schedule and facilitate a team of about 15 people. Their schedules are rarely out earlier than absolutely necessary, but we get on ok.
This necklace design, started with the red rosette on the left, and will continue to the right untill it makes me happy. Until then, I leave you with Dr. Vonthreadmore's promises of a return to the dye pots. She caught wind of my need for size 10 thread in solid colors and has declared her intention to provide the nesessary services.

June 10, 2010

Beginnings of the baby line

Really, these are the best pictures of my busy girl that I could get. She wouldn't hold still, but hopefully you can see how the hairband turned out. Admittedly, I had wanted the flowers closer together.....the elastic stretched more than I had anticipated. The next few I think will be sewn onto a pad of some sort so the flowers remain stationary while the band stretches.
My supply small sampling of headband supples did come,

But my daughter has already product tested the hat, and within two minutes of wearing it had it unraveling....

Apparently these are not suited for toddler fingers. Until next time!
P.S. Thank you all again for the awesome encouragement. Really.

June 8, 2010

So many ideas, so little time.

The eternal struggle of my existence continues.....somewhere last week I deciced I wanted to be superwoman, and that I can do everything I want to do and then some. Andy then of course reality strikes again, and I have to muddle through and prioritize. Bah.

Anyway, somewhere in that delightful place of inspiration I came up with more bright ideas that then of course resulted in more supply orders. God bless the supply sellers on etsy! I am going back there more and more expecially for smaller orders of findings and things. You can get an item cheaper at the larger online outlets, but they want like $6 shipping no matter what. Most etsy sellers employ the use of the USPS at first class mail prices, so you can get just a few of something that you need and they ship it for $2. So, if you are in the market for some supply ideas, make sure you browse ETSY.

No pictures today, just some rambling. I can't say enough how I appreciate your comments here friends! Your encouragement is priceless.

June 4, 2010

Baby withdrawls.

It's official. My little baby is not really a baby any more.

Her first birthday was on the 12th, and we hosted her party this past weekend.
There is of course much to celebrate on such occasions. She is walking, she knows four words in sign language and can say mama and dada. All of this growing up of course leaves me a little sad that her baby days are near gone, and we are undecided as to whether we want another one or not. Now, I'm still in the post-nursing hormonal shift, so I won't trust the baby withdrawl emotions with any decision making right now, instead, I'm using all of that baby-wanting energy to create some pretty baby tatted things :

This headband is taking me three days to complete......but it will eventually have three rosettes on the stretchy headband. I'm contemplating adding a baby line to the shop (s) (you can now find me on artfire....) but this one is for my precious not-so-much-a-baby-anymore girl.

June 1, 2010


Must say I'm feeling very unconnected now that I'm not blogging as frequently. That sad and alone feeling drove me to the unthinkable....

I signed up for twitter.

So, you can see short updates in the right column of the blog. I have a program called Tweetdeck that puts all my social networking in one place, so I can update them simultaneously, as well as keep an eye on what is going on in the universe. I vow to myself and my family that social networking will not take over my life.........Really. I promise.

I know I could get sucked in very easily, but darn it, I am superwoman and I can do it all!


Hmmm. That sounded a little Dr. Vonthreadmore-ish didn't it.