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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My shop will remain open, for now

Firstly, Happy New Year to everyone!

I wanted to post an update, and let you know that I've decided to keep my Etsy shop open for the time being. I will continue to check the Etsy forums for news about the new VAT laws. If anything changes, I will have to decide how to proceed, but for now things will remain untouched.

The reason I have decided to keep things the way they are is because everything I have been reading clearly states that Etsy is responsible for collecting the VAT. Individual sellers are NOT responsible. If you would like to read more about it, click on the links below.

The first is a flow chart to determine who is affected by the new law. If you only sell your services through a third party platform or marketplace, then the rule changes don't apply to you.

The second is a guide for businesses supplying digital services. Scroll down to the very bottom and you will see a paragraph entitled "Digital portals, platforms, gateways and marketplaces." It reads:

"If you supply e-services to consumers through an internet portal, gateway or marketplace, you need to determine whether you are making the supply to the consumer or to the platform operator. If the platform operator identifies you as the seller but sets the general terms and conditions, or authorises payment, or handles delivery/download of the digital service, the platform is considered to be supplying the consumer. They are therefore responsible for accounting for the VAT payment that is charged to the consumer."

The third is a Twitter Q&A about EU VAT changes. Scroll down and read the questions and answers in Section C: Sales via third-party platforms. Etsy is even named in Question C3.

Maybe this information will help if you are a seller of digital downloads and are unsure of how to proceed. I still hold out hope that some kind of resolution will be found in the near future.

Monday, December 29, 2014

VAT and Possible Shop Vacation

Many of you already know about the issues concerning the new VAT laws and how it will effect Etsy sellers and other small businesses that sell digital downloads. If you would like to read more about Etsy's stance on the matter, you can do so by Clicking Here.

I've been reading about this for the past week and have been going back and forth about what to do. I was hoping that Etsy would come through with a solution before January 1, 2015, but that seems unlikely now.

I may decide to put my shop on vacation mode until things get sorted out. A lot of other digital sellers are also planning to go into vacation mode on January 1, so if there are any digital goods you were thinking about purchasing, now might be the time to do it.

I hardly have anything in my Etsy shop, but I was really looking forward to designing and adding new patterns in 2015. Let's hope that this all gets resolved and that small digital sellers can resume business without breaking the law.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Making Sketches

After spending weeks tatting snowflakes, wrapping gifts, and getting ready for the Holidays, I've finally had a chance to sit down and do something more relaxing. I decided that I wanted to try sketching some potential designs the old fashioned way...with pencil and paper. Many doodles and pieces of paper later, I ended up with a butterfly and a heart:

Prior to this, I had been exclusively using Kaleidoscope Drawing Pad to come up with ideas. While this app works really well for snowflakes, squares, and crosses, I was never able to create a satisfactory butterfly or heart. It seems that the less points of symmetry an object has, the more difficult it is to draw on an iPad.

There's no telling if these ideas will translate into tatting, though I try my best to keep my drawings within the confines of expected thread behavior. Nothing too fancy or confusing.

On another note, I liked the way the Priscilla bookmark turned out, so I decided to tat one for myself. This one is in progress and I'm using Lizbeth size 80 in the color Rainbow Taffy.

I didn't wind enough thread onto the shuttles, so I will have to add more as I go...something I try to avoid because I hate both sewing in ends and tatting over tails!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Priscilla Bookmark

It looks like I will have to wait until after the Holidays before resuming Inkscape posts. I didn't realize how busy I would be trying to get everything done. Here is another last minute tatted gift. This one is based on an edging from the old Priscilla Tatting Book #2. It is tatted in Lizbeth size 80 Vineyard Harvest:

I turned the edging the opposite way from what is shown in the book. In addition, I had to make some minor adjustments to the stitch count and add corners to create a bookmark.

Having some experience in designing really comes in handy when altering antique patterns. I used to get really frustrated because I didn't know what to do when antique patterns didn't work out. Now it's just like I'm fixing up one of my own patterns to get it to lay flat.

The Priscilla Tatting Books are all in the public domain, so these patterns are available for free. 

For those who are interested in creating this bookmark, I've drawn up a diagram with the stitch counts. Right click and open the image in a new tab to see the numbers clearly.

This bookmark works up very large, so I recommend it for tatters who like to use small threads. Size 80 works great, and I wouldn't go any larger than size 40 for this one.

Muskaan asked what size the bookmark is when it's finished. Using size 80 thread, my bookmark measures 1.5 inches wide and 6 inches long (though length will vary depending on the number of repeats chosen). In size 20 thread, the bookmark is 2.25 inches wide, and can be as long or as short as you want it.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Snowflake Drudgery

Every year, I try to make a few snowflakes to give as gifts or to put into Christmas cards. This year, I thought it would be neat if I used one of my own designs. I chose my Design Tutorial Snowflake, because I think it is the most visually appealing and it's easy to make:

There's still two more centers that need a second round, and I will see if I have the stamina to create any more after that.

The problem is that I find tatting from a pattern to be monotonous, especially if it is something that I have made before. I'm not even sure if it would make a difference to mix the patterns up...unless it was a new pattern where I could learn a new technique.

Over the past couple of years, I've noticed that my attention span for tatting from patterns is limited. However, give me a design to figure out, and I can get lost for hours upon hours trying to piece together the puzzle. There's just something about creating from scratch and not knowing exactly how it will turn out that really holds my interest. It's like I'm on a mission, and I will not rest until I have it figured out.

I drew this a couple of weeks ago and have been itching to turn it into a pattern:

Most likely, it will have to wait until next year, as I still have to put the tree up, do Christmas shopping, and finish tatting snowflakes for gifts. Not to mention getting back to posting Inkscape tips.

A few weeks ago, Phyllis sent me some really great instructions for creating a split ring on Inkscape. It can be used for other things too, like representing a split chain. I'm hoping to work on formatting it into a post this weekend, as I think it will be really useful to other tatters. Now, if only I can get all this stuff done simultaneously...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Free Pattern: Rosaleen

Happy Holidays! As my Holiday gift to all of you, I've made Rosaleen available on my Free Patterns page. I secretly added it a few days ago, so some of you may have found it already :)

For those who have not, you can access the pattern through my Free Patterns page, or by clicking on the name under this photo:

Rosaleen (with variations)

There are a few variations included with this pattern. You can tat Rounds 1 through 4 without floating rings:

With floating rings:

Connect multiple motifs together:

Or add a fifth Round: