Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good News, Bad News

On the good news side, we're no longer living with the in-laws. On the bad news side, we're living with a bunch of boxes yet to be unpacked and a toilet with a slow leak.

Good news, we have digital cable and a DVR so there's lots to watch when I'm home alone all day. Bad news, we have digital cable and a DVR so there's lots to distract me from doing anything productive all day.

Good news, I woke up with a great writing idea. Bad news, that was four o'clock in the morning and I don't remember where I was going with it.

Good news, I have time to play World of Warcraft and level up some of my other characters finally. Bad news, my guild seems to be falling apart and it's not particularly appealing to be around while it happens.

I guess that's about all. I'm really glad that we've mostly settled into a place of our own for the new year. It's nice to have our own place, but I miss the cats. I need to stop watching Animal Planet during the day. Cats 101 makes me sad with the need for a small furry thing to cuddle. Next time we move, I want to go some place where I can have a kitty :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Who's Conditioning Whom?

For our anniversary, my hubby and I went to the Festival of Lights which seems to be our new tradition. This year I actually managed to convince him to pull off at the gift shop so I could look at all the crafts and we could maybe buy our ornament for this year. I managed to brave the crowd, in spite of my phobia, and look at all the wares ranging from crappy kitsch to glorious crafts.

As I looked at the various things, sometimes marvelling and other times thinking that I could make something ten times better, I looked at prices as a reflex. As someone who sells my crafts I guess it's a matter of "sizing up the competition" even when not in direct competition. There were a few people that I thought were charging too much. I admit that I'm not always drawn to "primitive" painting and crafts, but sometimes I like it. However, I'm never going to spend good money on a piece of bark that looks like it was painted by a kindergartner. As usual, there was no tatting but a lot of knit and crocheted items, most of them desperately underpriced knowing how many hours went into them.

I started to wonder about where this drive we seem to have to undercut ourselves as artists comes from. It seems to happen mostly with the fabric and fiber artists. The woodcarvers, potters, and such seem to know what they're worth and price accordingly. I got to thinking about why the fabric and fiber artists do this. I'm still not sure, but I have a few theories.

1: The usual "I have a friend/sibling/parent/grandparent/etc. who sews/crochets/knits and I'm going to get them to make me something like this" comments make us worry that if we don't price it to move, it won't. I am guilty of this one. I'm not saying that there aren't plenty of people who will get something similar to what you've made somewhere else for less money or a favor. I once had a woman stand not five feet away from me counting my stitches in a scarf I had for sale. If she'd asked, I would have gladly told her. Garter stitch isn't a personal trade secret. However, this annoyed me. Rather than buy a $10 (yes, grossly underpriced, I know) scarf or even talk to me about it, she just stood there trying to figure it out without acknowledging my work. I think this sort of attitude that you shouldn't expect people to pay you a decent wage for what most people consider a hobby is one of the reasons we undervalue ourselves.

2: Plenty of people want to blame Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, etc. for selling items that have the same look as handmade for what breaks down to less that a penny an hour. I don't think this is the real problem. Yes, there are people who look at what we've made and say to themselves (or callously aloud) "I could get this at Wal-Mart for three bucks." Ok. Go for it. If what you want is mass-produced junk, get it. Have a field day! You're not my target consumer. The person I'm looking for is the one who wants something unique. Something that took more time and thought to design and create.

3: We've conditioned our customers to undervalue us. Too many of us have thought of what we're doing as a hobby and maybe a way to make a little money on the side. The hobby sellers are the biggest threat. It's not the big chain stores because most people understand the difference between handmade and mass-produced and will buy accordingly. I think that the hobbyists have taught too many customers to expect prices based on wanting to be able to go out and get more yarn or fabric just to keep up a crafting habit. They're not looking for profit and they're not going to get it. I don't have too much of a problem with these types. I just wish they'd stick to ebay and leave things like etsy to the rest of us.

So that's what's been rattling around in my head since Friday. Each time I look at my new little Santa ornament, I have mixed feelings. I feel bad for the crafter knowing that he probably took at least 2 hours to make and I got him for under $5. I'm also proud of myself, because I got a bargain ;)

On a side note, while World of Warcraft was down today to institute a new patch, I finished a new tatting a new ornament. I have to stiffen this one because it isn't as tightly packed as I usually make things. Pictures to come later.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Warning: Impending Rant

Wow, I am so lax about posting to this blog. Luckily tonight I'm just pissed off enough to have to write something. I just got a message on etsy that basically told me one of my chokers was overpriced. Way overpriced. Something about how they would be willing to pay up to $20 for my 30 some-odd hours of work, but $100 was out of their price range. Oh, and as if it were possible they threw in "no offense." Well, offense definitely taken. I understand that there aren't enough people out there who understand how delicate and time-consuming tatting is. This is I've started adding to the listing that the large pieces all day over 20 hours of work. This is a low-ball estimate for some pieces. I guess I just don't understand how you can basically tell me that my piece isn't worth the price I'm charging and expect me not to take offense. You expect me to take less than $1 per hour for skilled work and not be offended.

Ugh, I can't even respond to the message because I'm so angry it would be needlessly snippy.

Oh, and Eliza Dushku was nominated for a Scream award for best actress for Dollhouse when she is the one thing that makes that show nearly unwatchable. How can you play a character that's supposed to be able to change into whoever/whatever is called for when you play the same person in every episode and don't even do that very well. This has been a night of disappointments.

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Fame" Falls Short

For months, I've been on pins and needles. Ever since I heard there were making an updated version of "Fame," I've been counting down the days until I could see it. Every time I saw an ad or trailer that made me doubt its merits, I'd see another that would renew my hope.

Anyone who was a theatre geek in high school, college, and beyond should understand what I mean. The original "Fame" was iconic. It was something that spoke to every young performer in one way or another. It was one of the first things we could look at and feel like someone got us. Someone understood that it was hard, that it was work to be a performer. It was the first thing I can remember seeing where the artistic people were normal. They weren't some over the top, ditzy, arty, weird for the sake of being weird freak like they always have been in movies and sitcoms. It was the kind of thing you should show your non-theatre friends to help them understand your world. The sort of thing you show to your overachieving History major roommate who doesn't think you work because you're not writing papers and spending 24/7 in the library.

Seeing that the film featured accomplished actors as the faculty gave me hope. I knew that it wouldn't be the movie I fell in love with so many years ago. I hoped it wouldn't be. As long as it held true to the essence, I would be happy.

I'm not happy. The movie fell far short of my expectations. I'm going to try to explain without giving "spoilers" because I hate people ruining movies for me whether they're good or bad.

It wasn't terrible. It could have been much worse. However, it could have been far better. The original showed blood, sweat and tears. It showed the work that goes into the crafts we practice and the love that drives us to make ourselves so vulnerable. I've seen it at least a dozen times and I cry every single time. I didn't cry this time. I didn't see the struggle, so I didn't feel the triumph. No one seemed to be sacrificing, no one seemed to be vulnerable, and everyone seemed to get a happy ending.

I wasn't looking for a rehashing. I wanted it to be different, but feel the same. I wanted to feel the same inspiration at the graduation scene. I didn't. The finale didn't have the power it needed. The whole thing felt rushed. There wasn't enough depth to the characters, which is sad in a movie that's all about finding depth to improve your performance.

Overall, it was a raging disappointment, but not a totally horrible film. I suppose there was no way to live up to my expectations, but I would have given points for effort.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Chasing Imaginary Beads

It's a good idea to have a vague impression of the project I want to create. It's a bad idea to picture a totally finished piece in my head. I end up frustrated. I end up with a choker I can't finish because I don't have the perfect bead to put at the end of the extension chain.

I think I'm going to have to take the tatted and ribbon piece and drag my hubby to the bead store. Maybe a charm instead of a bead. . .

I also have a beautiful necklace in my head to go with the awesome Halloween dress in my head. Neither will turn out exactly how I'm picturing them. I've come to terms with that, but I'm still searching everwhere to find the perfect beads for the necklace and trim for the dress. I'm getting closer. I finally have some gorgeous cameos and settings for the necklace. Well, I have two sets of cameos and two kinds of settings. I think I'm going to use one of these cameos in one of these settings and save the other pieces for another project. The great thing is that I have extras! If the necklace turns out anywhere near as nice as it is in my head, I may have to make another and list it.

If I ever find those elusive beads, that is.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oooooo, I Love Red Tag Fabric!

Found the most beautiful brocade back in the red tag discount section of the fabric store. I'm going to make it part of the bustle of my Halloween dress. I'm not even thinking about historical acuracy, not enough time or money. I think I've almost figured out how to make this work. I'm going to take a basic pattern I already had (top C and skirt F) out of the light blue and then use the gold and the brocade to fashion the bustle as a separate piece so I can wear the dress again. Life would be so much easier if I had a dressmaker's dummy, but I should be able to make it work. It looks great in my head, at least.

The pattern for the dress I liked wasn't available in my size to begin with and then the store only had the smaller size. I bought the smaller size to give me some ideas of how to make this work, if nothing else. If anyone has suggestions to make this project easier, let me know. Hopefully there will be work in project pictures coming.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So Glad I Wasn't Alive in the 1880's

I finally got Chris interested in an idea for Halloween costumes. If I'm going to make something decent, I have to start about a month ago. Unfortunately, the pattern he decided he likes is this. Not bad until you consider that puts me in the position of having to make myself something witha bustle. I've already got enough of a natural bustle, I shudder to think what I'm going to have to do now. I'm looking at this (the full length dress, not the saloon girl versions). It's the only thing I've seen that I think I can handle both in terms of construction and self confidence. Of course, the don't make that pattern big enough to fit me, so it will probably end up being a combination of that pattern and a couple plus size formal patterns I already have.

The good point is that I get to add some tatting into whatever I do! Period appropriate and all that good stuff :) I'll have to make myself a choker with some of the velvet ribbon. Sigh, as if I need one more project on my growing to-do list. The madness never ends.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Conversations with my Body

I have found myself talking to myself more often these days. It's not a matter of going stir crazy anymore. I've begun to bargain with myself. I've always done this on some level. When your body begins to break down and betray you little by little, you start to see it as a foreign entity. You separate yourself from the traitor. My mind still works fairly well but my body doesn't seem to be working with the same operating system.

I remember back in high school having to go up or down a flight of stairs to get to every class. I used to charge up the first five or so and get progressively slower eventually mentally pleading with my sluggish limbs to carry me up the last two or three stairs so I wouldn't be late to class. It seemed like the end of the world looking up that flight of steps. Boy, those were the days.

Now I'm verbally pleading, begging, and threatening my body to get me up the four stairs at the front of the house so I can get inside where the temperature is more moderate, where the bathroom, bed, computer, etc are. It seems a million years ago that it wasn't really so bad until the sixth or seventh chair. Now my downfall is the third.

There was a time when I could get up from the ground. At least, I think there was. Now when I fall, I have to wait for Chris to get home and help me up or scoot on my behind to the bed and hope I can roll over onto my knees so I can sort of flop up and pull myself up with the sheets. Straightening from a sitting position is nearly impossible sometimes. It just feels like I'm losing the fight by inches.

I suppose this sounds like a pity party, but that's not my intention. I'm honestly just trying to preserve a piece of my current experience to look back on someday when I've lost a few more precious inches. I suppose the best way to explain is to say that there was a time when I could run, when I could sit on the floor and get back up again. I know there was, but I don't remember what it was like. I'm hoping that someday I can look back at this post and say to myself "Look, it's a struggle, but it's always been that way."

I may have a traitor for a body, but at least I'm fighting back, even if it's just verbal threats.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Work In Progress

I'm still on the fence over whether or not I like tatting onto velvet ribbon. The result is attractive, but the ribbon likes to warp at the edges. I think the one thing I am sure of is that I have to do an edging on both sides to even it out. Anyway, here are some sneak peeks of my experiment:

The pictures aren't the best, but I was just trying to take a couple quick snapshots to share my progress. I tried something else a little different with this piece. The edging on both sides are variations of the same pattern. The rings are the same size with the same number of double stitches, but on one side, I put lots of picots to make it look frillier while the opposite side has just one center picot on the big rings with a bead to give it a more stream-lined look. Not entirely sure I'm in love with the way this plan is working either. The farther I get on it, though, the more I think I like it.
And, of course, I still have no idea what I'm going to name it when it's done.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

You Know You're a Theatre Geek When . . .

Someone says "Money, money" and suddenly Joel Grey and Liza Minnelli are doing a number in your head

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gotta Love the Internet!

My best friend from childhood found me on Facebook and I feel like I've gotten a piece of my childhood and myself back. It's hard to explain what that means. I guess that when you've lost as many people as I have in my life, you start to feel like no one remembers who you were once upon a time. Does that make sense? Between moving around, changing schools, changing family situations, I don't have many ties to who I was when I was very young.

Besides, do you ever forget your first best friend? I don't think you do. That's a very strong bond. I'm so excited I think I might burst! It's nice to reconnect with someone you cared and still care about and to know that you haven't been forgotten either. You can tell I'm excited because I'm babbling even in print! Now I'm going to stop babbling and go work on productive things for church puppet team. Oh, and breakfast, there should be breakfast. Food is good.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Babydoll!

We finished! Through the combined efforts of my in-laws, my usually working sewing machine, and myself, we finished my hubby's birthday present in time for his birthday today! Meet Hugh:

Chris has been saying for a while that he wanted a puppet of his own. He had an idea to have a newscaster who could do the between portions of the church puppet programs and even have a few skits of his own. We have a few skit ideas in mind, but nothing fleshed out yet.

Well, I grilled him for a little while to get an idea of exactly what he was thinking of and teamed up with my father-in-law who knows how to make puppets and leads the puppet team. The sewing was done by me, and he put it together.

Chris was thrilled with his present and Hugh was happy to have a life and purpose.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Need More Hours In the Day! Someone Get On That Please!

Today, I was very good. I did not allow World of Warcraft to steal my time away from me. Yes, it was patch day and the servers were down, but I didn't even know that. I was a very good girl. I didn't touch the computer until a few minutes ago. All day. No email, no shop, no WoW, nothing. I was productive.

I spent the morning tatting a special order Ninja Temptress choker and it's more than half done. I even spent an hour sitting out on the back porch soaking up a little sun. (Just a little, still sporting my normal pasty look.) Hubby and I went out to dinner and I continued tatting while he played WoW when we got home. See, I'm a good girl. Do I get a cookie?

Tomorrow, while I might not have quite as much self control, I'm hoping to finish the choker and maybe get a little more work done on hubby's birthday present. I have about a week to finish. I'd tell all about it, but with my luck, this would be the one time he'd actually read my blog and ruin everything. Don't worry, I'll tell all about it next week when it's finished and given to him. I'll take pictures, too.

So now the question is whether or not I can go to sleep tonight without hopping on WoW. . .

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Intellectual Infringement

I just found out that two cards were removed from my shop because the attorney for Dr. Seuss Enterprises objected to my use of a quote from Dr. Seuss. I had given credit for the quote, not claiming it to be my own. I'm more than a little annoyed by this. It's a quote I had heard before and found online on various quote compilation sites. Seriously, do you not have anything better to do with your time than hunt down things like this and complain? If I had not given credit to the author of the quote, I would understand. I guess I'm just frustrated by the idea that you can lay claim to everything someone said.

I was told by etsy that "The letter stated that these listing(s) incorporate designs or symbols or language or images or photographs that infringe upon the concerned party's copyright or other intellectual property right." So I can't use language that infringes upon another person's intellectual property. Well, as all my cards feature quotes by other people, I might as well just take the whole thing down! Heaven forbid I'm moved and inspired by something someone else said and want to incorporate it into what I do!

Being raised by a children's librarian, I had a great respect for Dr. Seuss and still do. However, I feel that his current representatives might not being operating in the spirit he seemed to embody. They let that horrendous Mike Myers movie mutilate The Cat in the Hat, but I can't put a quote on a $3 card? Are there any of us who didn't grow up with Dr. Seuss books? His work is so much a part of our culture that you see little things everywhere. The banter of Green Eggs and Ham has spawned more parodies than I can think of.

My rant is running out of steam because I'm just flabergasted and annoyed by this so much that I can't think straight. I'm not denying that there are copyrights and patents that are important, I just think this is an overreaction on the part of people with more money and power than I could ever dream of having.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I haven't blogged in a while because I'm up to my neck in projects. And people just keep giving me more. One of these days I have to learn to say "no" sometimes.

Like that will ever happen.

I'm crocheting egg cozies, a baby afghan, and working on tatting on a handkerchief. I also have to make an afghan, a hat, and work on puppet costumes. Between family and friend showers and events, church, and my shop I'm stretched pretty thin. I have to try to accomplish most of this by Easter.

The egg cozies are crocheted so tightly, they're making my wrists hurt a little, so I have to take lots of breaks, but they're almost done!

During my breaks, I've made a few cards that aren't listed yet. I figured it was time to make some appropriate for Mother's Day.

I had to re-do part of the second one. I love my sweetie, but he's very unobservant sometimes. He put a plate with some grease on the bottom down on top of it. I had to replace the quote block. I guess it's my fault for not putting it somewhere more out of the way. But don't tell him I admitted to that ;)

And now I'm sitting here blogging when I should be working on one of these myriad projects. I don't know if I'm going to get all this done before I go insane. I sure hope so.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Shop!

My shop was feeling a little crowded and scattered, so I decided to move all my cards (including the new ones I made this weekend ;) to a brand new shop! I'm hoping to add some scrapbook pages and other things in later. For now, it's just cards. Come take a look and tell me what you think!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Come and Vote!

Well, the voting has been going on for a few days for the Spring Contest. I'm a little behind posting this, but I wanted to make sure I did ;)

Come see all the pretty spring items and vote for your favorites!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Let's Move Out!

I finally added a clearance section to my shop. Things are getting a little crowded in my shop and my finished projects box at home, so it's time to move some things out. Drop in and see if anything strikes your fancy. Pendants at 50% off! Prices so low I must be crazy! ;P

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I finally stopped being lazy, refilled my shuttle, and completed my latest choker:

Twilit Roses Choker

It's my first nod to my Twilight obsession. Yes, I admit it. I'm addicted to the Twilight saga. I read them all twice within a two week time frame and have listened to them multiple times on audio. I think they're filling the void that the last few Anita Blake books I've read have left. Don't get me wrong, the Anita books are still good, but it seems like we're losing a lot of the mystery and chase aspect and replacing it with power and sex. I still love Anita, but she's becoming someone different than the character I fell in love with ten years ago. Or maybe that's just me.

This choker might have turned out a little better, well at least a little more like it was in my head, if I'd been able to find a red apple charm. I couldn't find one easily, so I had to settle for a pewter apple instead. It still looks great, but it's not exactly my original vision. Of course, how many projects ever turn out the way it is in my head initially? If it ever happens, I'll let you know.

Ever Get the Feeling Everything Is Against You?

Well, yesterday was exciting. Wait, let me wipe up that dripping sarcasm before I continue.

I spent the morning arguing with the printer about whether or not it was going to print my business cards correctly. I insisted it would, it kept saying it wouldn't. As usual, the stupid printer won. Luckily have some business cards in the mail which I ordered from KBdesignCo so I don't feel quite so bad.

After losing yet another battle with technology, I went back to working on my Twilight inspired choker modeled after my Rose By Any Other Name choker. About three inches from being done, I ran out of thread in my shuttle. As is the theme of my day, the thread was across the room and buried. I was so frustrated, I put it away for the day, so I wouldn't defenestrate it. (Vocabulary word of the day, kids ;) Go look it up if you're confused)

Good news is, I've got a decent start on a baby afghan using some newly purchased yarn to go with the leftovers from the one I finished about a week ago. Bad news is, I'm not entirely sure I like it. We shall have to wait and see how it all turns out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Random Musing

I think men, as a general rule, are better at making sound effect noises because, as little boys, there were constantly immitating explosions and gunfire.

Finally Listed

The camera decided to be evil and uncooperative for a few days. For some reason, it took me five tries to get decent pictures of this choker:

Heart of Gold

At last, I got usable pictures and was able to list it in my shop. I love this choker! Hopefully someone else will love it, too!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy, Yet Again

Finally finished the choker and listed it in my shop. I decided to go with organza ribbon ties. It's nice and long, a whole yard of ribbon, so that it can be cut, adjusted, etc as necessary by whoever buys it. Of course, now I have two more yards of organza ribbon in two other colors because I wasn't bright enough to remember to take the piece with me to the store to pick out the ribbon. Oh well, I'm sure I'll find a use for it eventually.

I have another choker waiting to get photographed and listed. It's actually been waiting around for a while for just the right opportunity to list it. So far, the pictures have all been disastrous, but I have high hopes I'll get some good ones today or tomorrow.

I loved the way the rose choker turned out so much, that I got an idea for another one. I'm going to use only crocheted roses this time because I like the three-dimensional effect. If I can get the cat distracted long enough to let me work on it, it should be finished soon. Unfortunately, one thing I really wanted to put into it, a red enamel apple charm, has turned out to be a lot harder to get my hands on that I would have thought. I think I'm just going to have to settle for the pewter apple charm I picked up just in case. Not quite what I had in mind, but it should work anyway.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

So Now What?

The crochet and tatting is done for the choker, at least the main part.

But now I have the problem of figuring out how to turn this great piece into a choker. I don't know if I should just add a lobster claw and a split ring chain like my Ninja Temptress choker. I'm also toying around with the idea of sewing ribbons, probably sheer to both ends to use as ties. Anyone have any suggestions? I'd really love to finish this within the next few days and I just can't seem to make a decision! Help, everyone out there in cyber land ;)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow and Roses

It's a beautiful snowy day today. Well, it's beautiful as long as I don't actually have to go out in the snow so that it can turn to slush in my shoes. I made Chris go take pictures this morning so I could enjoy the snow from the comfort of my electric blanket.

Still trying to get the choker idea to work. There is now a large pile of mistakes and misstarts and bits of thread representing many failed attempts to make it look right. I think I've finally got it, though.

I'm going to have to use spare thread to figure out how to turn the corner and go back along the other side. I don't want to have to restart the whole thing. Hopefully I'll make some good progress today. I think it will only take a few more roses to get it to a good length. I love it when an experiment starts to come together well!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why Don't Scientific Discoveries Happen When You Need Them?

Too bad they didn't have this research done when I was in school! Maybe my Trig teacher would have realized I was paying attention after all! ;)

Keep Your Fingers Crossed

I had a brilliant idea for a new necklace/choker, but I'm not entirely sure how to make it work yet. I'm hoping to combine some tiny crocheted roses like these:
and tatted roses like these: with a tatted edge. The trick is going to be making the tatted roses and crocheted roses as close to the same size as possible and then coming up with an edging pattern to connect them. Not to mention, keeping the cat out of my hair while I do it. If it works, I'll probably use it as my entry for the Spring Contest being held by MissKnits and sarahinflorida, which means I need to get to work! Still wonderine what colors I'm going to use, whether I should make the roses all the same color or vary them, use solid colors or varigated thread. Too many decisions, too little time!
Oh, and I'm featured on a fellow etsian's blog! Come check it out:
Okay, off to work on various roses, more info to come as this project develops ;)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

Well, I finally managed to fight the new kitten off long enough to make a few quick projects. Cat toys, of course! I even managed to make a few extras that she hasn't claimed yet to list in my store.

I also finally got around to photographing and listing another baby afghan. Been a busy day or two. Now I just have to finish listing cat toys and go make some more.

And I still have to put the findings on another tatted choker and try to come up with earrings to go with it or something. No rest sometimes.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Pretty!

Finished the one with the beads first:

She Walks in Beauty Choker

Still working on the other flowering vine choker, but this took center stage for a while. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the rest of the star beads. Earrings, maybe?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's Almost That Time Again

Ash Wednesday is right around the corner and this year I've thought long and hard about what to give up for Lent. Last year, I gave up going to the movies. It wasn't nearly as bad as the year I gave up chocolate, or worse, the year I gave up chocolate AND coffee.

I had a hard time figuring out what was the right thing to give up this year. Finally I decided to give up fast food. I eat way too much of it and I know that it's not good for me. Hopefully, I'll get a little healthier and maybe even lose a little weight in the process ;)

I'm also hoping that after giving it up completely for 40 days, I might eventually be able to find a little balance and not eat so much fast food in the long run. Yeah, I know I'm not good at balance and moderation, but hope springs eternal, right?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Or Not

I decided it didn't need anything after all.

Flowering Vine Choker

I started another flowering vine choker last night with a slight variation in the flowers. After a few repeats, it began to feel too monotonus to do essentially the same pattern twice in a row, so I also started another choker with beads. We'll see which I end up finishing first.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Seems to Need Something More . . .

Someone suggested that I try to make a tatted choker with some bright spring colors. I've been experimenting with this traditional edging pattern and thought it might work. So now I have this happy line of spring flowers, almost to the length I want it, but it seems like it might need something else to make it a choker. I don't know if I should go back and do the same edging along the other side, whether back to back or trapping the flowers in the middle, or if it's fine and I'm just trying to make more work for myself. Opinions, anyone out there in cyberland?

The safety pin is placed at the last spot I measured it to save time and frustration ;) We took several pictures, but it's so delicate, this is the only one that turned out decently. I suppose I should just get it to the length I want before I worry too much about what else it needs. Good thing my amazing tatting callus is back!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What Do You Do?

I know all of you out there are thinking how awful it must be to have your hubby working all day on Valentine's Day, leaving you alone to entertain yourself. What do you do when you're alone on V-Day? I'll tell you.

You watch your husband get ready to go to work and whine at him and make him feel bad about leaving you alone. (Well, you try to make him feel bad, but he's so annoyingly level-headed it doesn't work so you get mad at him instead.)

You sit in bed wondering what to do with yourself. You do this for a while.

You get up, get online and spend a few hours messing around, promoting your shop, blogging, etc. You get bored with this.

You put a chick flick your hubby doesn't like watching in the DVD player and gather supplies to make a silly sock creature out of Valentine's socks given to you for that purpose.

You get annoyed when you can't find the socks and fire off an angry text message to hubby at work accusing him of losing/hiding the socks.

You find the socks in plain sight and send an apologetic text message.

As you watch chick flick, you create a strange creature and then get annoyed with it when it won't tell you its name or story.

You give up on Valentine's Day altogether and do family stuff for the next few hours. When you get home again, you fall and twist your knee, thus ruining the next few days as well. You curse Valentine's Day and all who celebrate it and become bitter and cynical (well, more bitter and cynical).

The next day, you post about it in your blog and hope that makes you feel a little better.

It does ;)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Quoteables for Valentine's Day

I love quotes! Here are a few of my favorite love quotes in honor of Valentine's Day:

"Where there is great love, there are always miracles." -Willa Cather

"Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. " -Franklin P. Jones

"If you have it [Love], you don't need to have anything else, and if you don't have it, it doesn't matter much what else you have. " -Sir James M. Barrie

"Love is a friendship set to music. " -E. Joseph Cossman

"When you are in Love you can't fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams." -Dr Seuss

Missing: Muse

Alas! I have lost my creative spirit today! I can't seem to think of my next project.

So, I've added a poll! Help me design my next tatted choker. Maybe even more than one ;) Take a look at the chokers already in my shop to get an idea of what I can do. Or at least, what I'm talking about. Thanks in advance for the input and keep your eyes out for pics of my new projects, coming soon to a blog near you! (Well, this blog at least ;)

If the poll options are too limiting (it's harder to figure out what to ask than I thought it would be) just leave me a comment with your ideas. Inspire me!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Promotions! Promotions!

It's time to start moving stuff out of my shop. There are too many things that have been sitting there for too long. So, here are my current promotional deals:

Free shipping on all baby afghans in the month of February.

And, this weekend only, buy any knit, crocheted, or tatted item and get the card of your choice for free! Just tell me the name/item number of the card you want in 'notes to seller' and I'll bundle it up with your item!

More promotions and specials coming soon. Help me make room for new inventory!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

At Last! I'm Popular!

Take that everyone who was snotty to me in high school!

Okay, I'm not Prom Queen popular or anything, but I did sell two copies of this pattern in one day! And I've sold two sets of Juggling Geese within a week. Makes me feel pretty good. Now, if only some bigger ticket items would become popular ;)

After working on tatting projects for about a week, my tatting calluses are finally starting to build up again and the thread isn't cutting into my fingers as much. I really need to stop letting the calluses soften and heal. It's a pain to build them back up, in more ways than one!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Busy Hands

Two new tatted chokers in two days! It might have been three if I hadn't screwed up the spacing on the second one and had to redo the whole thing. Anyway, here's a peek:

Both are listed in my shop if you want to see more pics!

Random Musing

I believe that daytime television reflects the decline of the intelligence of the average person.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Warning- Impending Rant

I'm getting sick of people in the ad business. I'm sure it's a much harder job than all those of us sitting at home on our butts shouting "I could've come up with a better idea than that!" think it is. But, honestly, I'm tired of stupid ads, ads that don't truly reach their target audience, and ads that shoot themselves in the metaphorical foot. I have two main complaints about advertising at the moment.

1. Why are ads being aimed at me not written by people who understand me? Does anyone think that Always' current slogan "Have a happy period" was written by anyone other than a hopefully deluded man? I don't know a single woman who would consider having a "happy period." How often to you get an excuse to be bitchy to everyone? This doesn't mean that anyone of any gender should assume that a bitchy woman has reached "that time of the month." Keep those opinions to yourself, or we'll have to kill you. I just mean that all I do when I see those ads is grumble and scream at the TV rather than actually listening to the intent of the commercial. There are plenty of other commercials that fall into this category, but I can't think of them at the moment.

2. Why are all the personifications of bad things so darn cute? It started a few years ago with the absolutely huggable "Migraine" monster attacking people at restaurants and such. I took one look at that precious little thing supposedly causing all this misery and wondered "Why don't my migraines look like that? He's cute! I want a little one to cuddle!" Now it's adorable Heartburn, and the cutest of all "Hungry." My annoying Hungry is more like a rabid Cerberus and he doesn't ever offer me food, simply demands I go hunt and/or gather my own even if it means risking life and limb.

I guess, like many of us, I just sit at home and watch TV commercials (no, I didn't even watch the Super Bowl for commercials, I watched DVDs) and marvel at the fact that someone got paid for that idea, people competed to play those roles, and someone is going to make a ton of money from it in the end.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back from the Blackhole

Hooray! I found the camera! It was trapped in the multi-dimensional vortex that was the pile of crap on our coffee table. The chaos has been contained for the moment, but there's no telling what the future holds. . .

Anyway, now I finally have the infamous Jayne Hat picture on the computer, so here it is:

I think they turned out well! Of course, my pants are still coated in a fine layer of wool in various shades of yellow and orange. I can't seem to get rid of it all. Totally worth it though!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

What Is Wrong With These People?!

Last night I was watching one of my favorite zombie movies and began to get frustrated with the same thing that always bothers me when I watch a zombie movie. Why is it that no one in a zombie movie ever appears to have seen a zombie movie? Or heard of a zombie? I can understand a certain amount of shock and mental shut-down, but wouldn't there come a point when you say to yourself or hapless companions "Holy crap! They're zombies!" Shouldn't some sort of knowledge kick in? I mean, it seems to me that we live in an age where few, if any, reasonable adults have never heard of the concept of a zombie.

Thankfully, today we watched a zombie movie we rented. We rented The Slaughter thinking it would be terrible (amusingly so) based on the obvious poor production quality, lack of recognizable actors, etc. I have to say, I recommend it. If you can suffer through the bad acting/writing in the first half, it gets a lot better. There are some funny lines and situations in the second half. My favorite scene involved a zombie shuffling toward his intended victim while her cohorts discussed and debated where this particular zombie fit into zombie culture so they could figure out how to defeat it. Finally! At last I get to see someone doing something more along the lines of what I'd be doing faced with the walking dead.

I'd like to see more people who seem to have even the slightest idea of what they're facing. It's just so much more realistic. At least, as realistic as cinematic walking dead ever are. If the creature villians of the story were rabid squirrels, you wouldn't have a bunch of idiots standing around trying to figure out what these furry little creatures with fuzzy tails are! They'd know they were squirrels!

So let's think about this logically:

Does the person coming after you, whether shuffling or running, have a grey-ish dead tint to their skin?

Did your friend just let out a death rattle, go slack for a moment then open his/her eyes again to reveal a glazed look?

Is someone trying to eat your brain or any other part of your body?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions: ZOMBIE! SHOOT IT IN THE HEAD!

Any questions?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pins and Needles

My wrist is a little bit better. I still have a tendency to aggravate it when I forget about it. I've had to change the way I lean on my leg to stand up and the way I hold the railing to get up the front steps. Of course, with the cold weather, the stairs are already more difficult. I've decided not to try to leave and have to tackle the stairs more than once a day.

The good news is that I've found that needle tatting, at least small projects like my tatted flowers, doesn't hurt my wrist at all! Hooray! And I've finally organized my tatting threads so that I can actually find what I'm looking for and see what I have. I decided to offer a couple of specific color assortments of tatted flowers in my shop. It just feels kind of weird to make them without just using scrap thread. It's been a long time since that was the project I set out to work on straight from the balls of thread.

I've got a stack of fabrics for sewing projects sitting around. I should really do something about that. I'm just trying to wait until I'm sure I'm done making cards for a while since I'm using the same table the sewing machine lives on. I should really work on my apron. Since I've decided to offer a class in about a month on how to make the project that's currently only an idea in my head. I should stop doing that. It's going to catch up to me some day.

Far too much to do. Can someone add a few more hours to the day for me, please?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hurried Photo Session = Lousy Pictures

This shawl is so gorgeous, but the pictures just don't do it justice! I'll have to try again later. Maybe we'll be able to find our camera by then. I'm hoping it won't continue to hide until we move again or something. Retracing my steps hasn't helped. Looking where it should be and where it shouldn't be hasn't helped. Maybe it was stolen by Borrowers or something! Who knows.

Well, anyway, the shawl is listed. Right at the last minute since the team meeting to show it off is tonight! I'm such a slacker!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Old Wounds Heal Slowly

As I've been knitting since I was very young and crocheting and tatting since I was fairly young, I expect a certain amount of carpal tunnel issues to ensue after a long stretch of doing any of these things. Usually, I slap a brace on whichever wrist is hurting at the moment, avoid doing any of the previously mentioned activities for a few days and then ease back in. It's not working this time.

After knitting four frog hats in two days to fill an order, I tried to take a vacation from fiber related pursuits for a few days. That was over a week ago. I didn't knit, crochet, or type for three days. I almost went crazy. My wrist still hurts. It starts to get better and then it gets worse again. I have things to work on, orders and obligations to fulfill. I don't have time for this! I know typing isn't helping much, but I avoided that for a while as well. I have to figure out what I'm doing wrong this time so that this won't happen again. I'm going to go insane from boredom if I can't work on anything productive!

I'm hoping that as long as I wear my support glove while I work on things the pain will at least stay the same. As long as it doesn't increase, I can continue to work. I'm just starting to get worried that my over-enthusiastic knitting may have lead to damage of a more permanent nature.

Doesn't matter. Doesn't change the fact that I have a choker to tat and an afghan to crochet. Guess I won't be pursuing a career in data entry, though.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Progress . . . sort of

So, I managed to aggravate my chronic wrist pain through over enthusiastic knitting last week. I've put myself in a brace to keep from doing further damage. Of course, resting my wrist means no knitting, crocheting, or tatting. That doesn't leave me much to do. But I figured something out!

It had been a while since I'd done any cardmaking, but my Chrismas cards turned out so well that I decided to make some more. I've got a stack that I'm slowly listing. Of course, with the camera still AWOL, that means my only option is to scan them and this produces less than stunning results. Still, I've listed two cards for now:

I decided to start with lovey-dovey cards with Valentine's just around the corner. I love quotes, so I scoured the web for some to use to spice them up and give me a little inspiration. Okay, it wasn't exactly scouring, just a 45 minute search. I wish I still have my old quote list. I'd been collecting it for most of high school and a year or so of college, when my computer crashed and I lost it! I really should try to put something together again. It was so much fun collecting them. I did manage to track down a couple that I remembered from my list to make sure I got them just right for the cards.

Wow, typing with a wrist brace sucks. That's enough for now.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Resolved and Resolute

I've never been one to make new year's resolutions. I know myself too well. I have a hard enough time giving something up for Lent, and that's only a few weeks. For some reason, I've decided to change this year. As it's January 9th, obviously one of my resolutions is not to give up procrastinating. I've got to hold on to a vice or two or I'll never make it.

Well, here goes nothing:

1. I'll do a better job of keeping in touch with people.

I'm so terrible about calling, emailing, etc to communicate with people I care about. I don't want to lose touch permanently with anyone I'm still in contact with. I've lost too many people in my life in permanent ways to let any more simply slip away.

2. I'm going to write something every day.

I used write almost constantly in school, sometimes when I was supposed to be doing something more productive. I haven't really spent much time writing since I finished college. I'm not sure I was ever very good, but it was something I enjoyed. Since all my crafting has become my job, I need some other sort of escape. Also, the knowledge that some of the monologues I wrote in high school for auditioning are still floating around in cyberspace, being read and presumably used is kind of inspiring. Someone actually contacted me out of the blue on Facebook asking if they were from a published play. Maybe I can come up with some sort of cohesive theme to make that play a reality.

3. I'm going to take better care of myself.

That's a pretty broad statement, but it boils down to a few specific things. I'm going to get set up with all the doctors I should be going to, not just the cardiologist. I'm going to take all my pills every day and not forget. I'm going to get up and move more. I'll walk sometimes when I don't think I can.

4. I'm going to finally change my last name.

My life for the past few years seems to have always been in flux. I need a feeling of permanence. It's time to finally fill out any and all tedious paperwork and finally legally have the name everyone already assumes I have.

I guess that's it for now. I could swear I had a few more in my head while I was thinking about this in the shower this morning. Oh well. I reserve the right to add to, subtract from, or otherwise amend this list without prior warning as necessary. Isn't chaning my mind my right as a woman? ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm an Idiot!

I've lost my camera.

I didn't even get a chance to download my holiday pics and now I've lost track of the camera! That means I can't list anything new in my shop. Too bad it's not like my cell phone. Whenever I lose that, I just have to call myself ;) Yes, that's happened a lot.

I'm trying to decide who to blame for this one. The last person I remember having my camera was my hubby, so maybe it's his fault. However, I have a tendency to put things "in a safe place," so safe, not even I will ever find it to damage it. And I'm sick. So, the question is, who lost the camera? And why isn't there some sort of locator device on these things?!

I miss my camera :(

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I Knew It Was Too Good To Be True . . .

For the first time in over ten years, I didn't have a cold on Christmas! I truly can't remember my last non-snot-filled, sore-throated, tired, cranky, all-around-miserable Christmas.

Should have known it couldn't last long. My hubby had three whole days off this week and my body picks the day he goes back to work to feel dreadful and need to be taken care of! Ugh, I win the crown for Queen of Bad Timing yet again.

So much I should be doing and I just feel too yucky to accomplish any of it. I need to make a total of six frog hats to send out, two are totally done, two need flies, and one more is a little more than half-knit. I should really be trying to do something productive, but my brain just isn't working right today. Stupid cold germs. Maybe I'll get over this quickly.

Unlike every cold I've ever had :(