At the end of tax season this year I was offered a permanent full time position at the firm (for the last five years I have worked full time only during tax season and then sparsely the remainder of the year while I was busy with my craft shows). My first thought was "no way" because I couldn't imagine giving up all my shows and all that tatting.
But after praying about it and talking to my husband and family, we decided it was a good thing - an unexpected blessing I didn't even realize I needed.
First of all, I have two kids going to college in 3 years - yeah, twins, so all college bills come at one time - ick. Having a nice, steady income will be very helpful.
This year's shows, for the most part, have been really off. Everyone's discretionary income is getting sucked into their gas tank (and I don't see that changing any time soon) and it's an election year. Don't ask me why election years are bad for me, but they always have been. I'm doing ok with shows, but I'm stressed about the varying income, how much some of my shows are down, and my travel costs going through the roof.
And finally, my wrists are seriously showing the strain of 4-6 hours of tatting a day for 17 years. My eyes are not doing so well either, as I mentioned in a previous post. I'd like to do some designing, maybe write a pattern book, and tat for nothing but my own pleasure if I want. I've picked up my crochet hooks recently and remembered how much I love to crochet as well! With the business, I never have any time for anything but tatting jewelry.
So, I start my full time job September 2nd. Part of me is really looking forward to it - I love what I do, and the people I work for and work with are great. Part of me is scared to death (I haven't actually ever had a normal, all year long, full time job, and I'm 39). Part of me is really sad to say good-bye to being an artist *almost* full time.
Now, all of that being said, Elizabeth's Lace is not disappearing off the face of the earth. :-) I plan to cut way down on shows - from about 16 to 6. I still plan to sell online, where I can keep costs down and reach a large audience. I could never imagine not doing tatted jewelry; I love it - it's been a huge part of my life. But it's officially time to take a little break.
And now for just a little eye candy, for those of you that made it to the end of the post - you didn't think I'd leave out the eye candy, did you??
This is a vintage pattern...I shall have to go looking for the source, but I suspect I found it somewhere in the Antique Pattern Library. Then I sketched it in my book, but I forgot to write down where I found it. Duh. I'll see if I can figure it out. Anyway, this is done in one of Yarnplayer's threads (Tigereye), size 20, and the focal bead is a vintage style button. The button for the clasp is also very old-fashioned. I just love the way this turned out. It got lots of compliments at the show I took part in this last weekend.