Tatting, crochet, origami and quilling

My photo
Obsessed crafter...voracious reader.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Unemployment = Many, many ornaments

I've been trying to keep myself on a fairly normal schedule while I'm not working for anyone, but my old work schedule was pretty crazy and it's hard to get out of the habit of working my way through the day.

Right now my typical day looks something like this:

Wake up around 10:30 or 11:00, grab a shower and eat a little something.  Check the news, my Etsy site, facebook and then some more news or a humor site.  Most days I try to do something around the house right around now too (although I could really be better about this) but it's a good time to do dishes or sweep the floor and think about what I have to do.  Then it's time for errands...groceries, prescriptions, this and that.  Sometimes it's also a good chance to stop and visit with friends who work in the area, since the early afternoons in South Side are generally slow.  Then it's time to go home and start working on anything someone has offered to pay me for, usually attempting to complete it before I stop for lunch.  Eventually, lunch.  Then either back to the project at hand or on to the next thing.  If my paid work is done I work on designs for a while and eventually pick up my second project for the day.  Around now it's time for coffee, and time to plan dinner.  I've made at least one more pass at the internet by now (news, Etsy, facebook etc.) and after dinner is done I'll settle back in for a night of crafting, usually going to bed around four am.  If I'm really committed to finishing a project, I'll stay awake until it's done and then collapse like a puppet with cut strings.

So keeping this schedule, (and allowing time for naps, because I do love a good nap in the middle of the day) I've had an awful lot of time to work on my projects.  With a few exceptions, most of my projects take about two hours (bunnies, ornaments, lace cuffs and fingerless gloves each take me the same amount of time give or take...weird, huh?) and I've had a LOT of two hour slices to use over the last few weeks...so I've made a huge number of ornaments.

I've posted many on Etsy (no joy since the first day when I sold two ornaments) but I'm about to post a few newer pieces, and the latest ones are by far my best work to date in this area.  After Christmas I'll be creating a bunch of non-holiday pieces in beautiful colors for everyday decorating too.

So without further ado, here are some of my latest pieces.  Remember that everything you see is for sale on my Etsy site!









Saturday, December 4, 2010

Missing something?

If you've noticed that all the nifty stuff you want to buy is suddenly gone, never fear!  I'm caving to the immense pressure of wanting to make money quickly and have started to work on my very own Etsy.com shop!  Later this year (if all goes well) you'll be able to buy direct from my site, but first I need to make sure there are enough people out there who want to buy my work.  I'll post the link to the store for you as soon as it's ready and I'll be accepting PayPal (finally, right!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tatted lace ornaments for sale!

I've been busy as a bee (a winter bee) making ornaments, and here they are...just in time for you to buy some for your tree!  Email your orders to orders@perfectfishdesigns.com and remember to include an order number so I send you the right ornaments.  There are discounts for every three you buy and in some cases you can select the ornament color (let me know what you want and I'll see if I can get it!)

Check back in the next day or two for details on how to order these on my Etsy.com site.



T-01 $10
T-02 $10


T-03 $10
T-04 $10
T-05 $10




T 06 - $10
T-07 $10
T-08 $10
 These ornaments are glass and range from 1 1/2" to 1 3/4" across.






T-09 $15

T-10 - $15

T-11 $15



T-12 $15
T-13 $15
T-14 $15




T-15 $15
T-16 $15


T-17 $15
T-18 $15


T-20 $15

T-19 $15



T-21 $15
T-22 $15

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Finally! Tatted Ornaments For the Holiday Season

I though I wouldn't get around to figuring these out in time, but I buckled down (and bought a bunch of books) and I'm thrilled to announce that in a few days I'll be posting ornaments for sale.  (Technically these are for sale but I haven't named any patterns yet to if you want something you'll have to try to describe it to me).  These are the shots I took last night and should give you a sense of the basic styles available.  The ornaments will all be priced at $20 and under and more sizes and colors are coming soon too.  Until I get the details worked out, enjoy!





Bunnies and Buttons

After years of making dolls from other people's designs I decided to strike out on my own and start creating some creatures.  This was the first one I cooked up (that wasn't horrible, that is) and I love making these little guys.  The most fun, for me, is picking out the eyes and the little buttons they wear...those elements are what gives each little creature their own special character.  I can't resist posting these sweet things as I finish them, but I'm always happy to do custom colors at no additional charge.  Please note that these dolls do not have child-safe eyes.   Bunnies are $12 each.

These are the twins, Romulus and Remus.  Since I hate to split up a family, I'm willing to give you the pair for $20.  They even have matching star buttons!

Meet Tommy

The child of bunnies who remember Woodstock, this sweet little lady is named Sunflower.


And here's an adorable shot of the whole group.  Is it just me or is Tommy trying to start a kick line? 

Light and Lacy Wraps to Cuddle Into During Chilly Weather

These wraps are made of a warm, fluffy yet delicate wool/ angora/ acrylic blend that can be washed on the gentle cycle in your washer (or hand washed) and air dried.
The camera refuses to do justice to this floaty black and white snowflake scarf.  We'll get a photo posted with a model soon to display this piece in it's full glory!.  ($40)

The Starry Night (based on an original design by Doris Chan) wrap measures 1'2" by 4'2" ($55) 
This wrap is made with a Tunisian Shell Stitch, my new favorite.  This light and lacy stitch can also be used to make wonderful baby blankets - remember that I'll customize almost any piece to fit size, color or whimsy requirements and customization is free almost every time!
The black and white wrap measures 1'11" x 3'8" and the blue and white is 1'2" x 3'10" ($45 each) 


This is a little preview of a piece that will go up for sale next week. This wrap measures 1'6" across and 5' long and is made from a phenomenal light wool in a color scheme called Autumn, using an exploded lace technique.  This piece is take from the book Vintage Crochet. The shots of the full wrap will be posted as soon as I can get my friend to model it for you! ($65)

Everything happens...

So first a blog post to clear the air.  A few days after Halloween (and a day before my five year anniversary with the company) the amazing bookstore I've had the honor of working in for the last five years was forced to close their doors.  This was a huge blow to me on many levels, I think everyone knows I'm an avid reader, and this place was not just a building I worked in...over the five years I spent there it became a home, a refuge, a place of amazing learning and also the place I went to see my friends.  One of the adjustments I'm really struggling with is not being able to spend my unemployment hanging out in an awesome indie bookstore.

There are a lot of things to be furious about in this situation, and I want the whole of Pittsburgh to know, for the record, that our store did not close because it was doing poorly.  The company as a whole was in trouble and the closure of some stores was a miserable necessity.  The staff I worked with did a fantastic job, often under difficult circumstances.  I am so proud of everything we accomplished, and for any readers out there in Cinci, Lexington, Memphis and Virginia, go to your local Joseph-Beth Booksellers and support a great indie company!!

So if you've been wondering what the heck happened to my blog, here's the story.  After my last post (which you may have noticed was only finished thanks to hours of work by my long-suffering boyfriend) my work load at the bookstore increased.  I started working full-time and a half in an average week.  Crocheting was the thing that kept me sane, but the last thing I had the time or the energy to do was photograph and post my work.  My next post (coming along in just a moment here) will cover the last two months worth of work...and what a busy two months it has been!

Don't worry too much about me :) I'm crafting my butt off and relaxing.  It was time for a break anyway.  If you want to help me out, please mention my website to your friends and family.  I'm still working out the details of ecommerce, but for the time being I will happily accept checks or cash and can take orders via email.  I've been crafting handmade gifts for the holidays like it's my job (and currently, it is!) so please remember that handmade lace ornaments and seriously cute little bunnies make much better gifts than mass produced stuff!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for loads of great gifts from Perfect Fish!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Soooo many new photos!!!

Two  Three things you need to know:

1) Check out the sales site for a bunch of new shots courtesy of my very talented boyfriend, along with some new work.  I'm still living in the digital dark ages so you can continue to send orders to my email and I can duplicate anything you're looking at with some different color options and to your size requirements.


2) Go to Susofashions.com and buy something.  If you don't see something you need you are welcome to buy something for me.  Sue makes beautiful costumes, dresses, wedding gowns and ren garb.  So beautiful!

3) Go get your hands on a copy of Kings of the Earth by Jon Clinch and read the hell out of it.  Utterly fantastic piece of dark fiction that, like his last book Finn will change you a little bit inside.

And just to tempt you to visit the rest of the pictures here are some teasers for you...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fairy Chains!

This is probably one of my favorite projects ever.  I started with Japanese lucky stars, made out of tiny strips of colored paper. Each star is made of paper a little thicker than wrapping paper and you just make a few simple knots and folds and you have a surprisingly sturdy little star!  So I got addicted to making the stars and suddenly I had a few hundred I needed to find a home for.

I punched a hole in each star with a needle and stuck a length of craft wire through the top, looping the wire around some wire wrapping pliers and adding beads along the way.  Each of the little beaded star charm is different because I am easily bored.  The charms and lots of larger beads in different colors all get crocheted into a chain with fishing line and voila!  Over three yards of decorative garland perfect for a little girl's bedroom, an easter decorations or just a really kawaii decoration for your apartment!  Here are some close ups of the fairy chain...