Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Birthday Sale

I've not got much to share this week. I've been working slowly on the Armenian lace, but most of my time has been spent reading and writing. I'm at 66,000 words now so if I keep working at the same speed I should be done with the first draft of the book by the end of the month. Of course I really have no idea where to go from that point. I made a point of not thinking beyond the actual writing of the thing, so I don't have a clue what might or might not happen with it after I edit and proofread it. I guess I'll have to do some research at that point.

That's not why I popped by though. It's my birthday, so I've set up a coupon code for a birthday sale. It looks like soon I'll be able to run a proper sale in my etsy shop as tools for that have just been released, but won't be live until next week. So for now get 25% off anything in my shop through Friday with this link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TotusMel?coupon=BIRTHDAY25 or you can use the code BIRTHDAY25 at checkout like usual.

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Monday, August 7, 2017


I really did mean to write here again last week, but I was yet again distracted by life. The children are back to homeschooling at the end of the month and the prep work for that has already begun which includes a myriad of issues that need dealing with. I did get a order for earring last week so I spent some time making a custom green pair and then remaking these firefly ones. It was nice to get something out in the mail to a customer, but that was about it on that front for the week. I have been selling more patterns than usual, which is nice, but since they are such small cost items, it really doesn't add much to my income.

I also worked some more on the new headpiece project. I'm really taking this one much slower than usual. I like the shapes I'm getting, but I think it needs more. The idea right now is to have it be worn with chains over and around the back of the head so I don't have to worry so much about sizing. I'm also debating whether or not it would be a good idea to use a wire base for the center part that's meant to sit up like a crown or just use stiffener. Obviously I'm got a lot more playing around with the piece before it's ready to move from the prototype phase.

I've also still been writing and reading a lot. I've broken 51,000 words now and the whole thing is starting to get a little unwieldy. At first it was easy to remember where each character was and what they'd said last time I wrote about them, now I feel slowed down as I reread what I've written to make sure I'm not contradicting myself. There's still no end in sight as I've still not worked out the resolution to many of the situations the characters have managed to get themselves into without much help from me really. This writing thing is real work, but I'm determined to finish this sucker.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Weekend Recap

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

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

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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Still Working

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Biggest?

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

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

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