Thursday, January 08, 2009

My house feels naked!

I finally put 3 storage tubs away that I've had out for the better part of a year to sort through. Actually, I did sort most of it and even reduced the number of full storage tubs but I had not put them away because I wanted to go through them one more time and see if I couldn't declutter even more.

Well, the insurance adjuster is coming today and I couldn't stand the embarrassment anymore. I don't know what came over me but I went through things last night like I was leaving the continent today. LOL! I was wide awake at 1:00 a.m.!!! I had to make myself go to bed. This morning I tackled the kitchen. Was done, vacuumed and mopped (floors) and showered (me) before noon.

I still have boxes and tubs and clutter. I have a box going for charity. I have a box of paint supplies that I do not want to put in the closet until I clean the closet out. I have a box of magazines to go through. I have a box of 2008 receipts to go through. I have one tub of "kits" to take to the basement and one tub of fabric that I haven't figured out where to put since I want to be using it. I have one box of books and magazines to go to the Half-Price bookstore when I go again.

The delicious thing is that I can see my floors and my countertops and my table again!!!!! Now the guest room and my computer/craft room....well, that's another cleaning marathon on another day.

I've purposely tatted something to put on my blog! This string of hearts is from Gina Butler's website. The instructions are for a single shuttle split ring and she directs you to Bina Maddens' site for Matthew Takeda's technique instructions.

Now everyone has some technique in tatting that they don't like. I have never tried the single shuttle split ring because it never appealed to me. I like tatting split rings but if I don't have a second shuttle handy, I'll ball up the thread and use my hand as the second shuttle. I'm sure it's a handy technique to know if you don't have a second shuttle, but it just doesn't interest me. So I used regular split rings on this. LOL! However, if you want to learn the technique, this would be a sweet practice piece. What a pretty garland for a little tree too.

Back in 1997 when I started tatting, I didn't have any "tatting" books. I had tons of Workbaskets and McCalls Needlework & Crafts and Good Housekeeping Needlework and Crafts (or whatever its title was) and a motley assortment of knitting and crochet publications. When I made my first quilt in 1972, there were maybe 4 books in the library about quilting. I am almost certain there was nothing about tatting in the 70's. I didn't know about Rebecca Jones' book on tatting until I joined the online community and that was one my library had by that time.

I'm getting ahead of myself a bit though. In the early days, the only tatting patterns I had were from mostly crochet publications and my first exchange was a butterfly exchange. I loved butterflies and I think that's why I jumped right in. I was on the quiet side and easily intimidated by the online group conversations. After all, these were expert tatters - what did I know? Seriously...what did I know? Next to nothing. Self-taught. No one to let me know if what I interpreted was right or not. I sort of pooh-poohed the adamant statements about using "good" thread. All I had available was crochet cotton. It had been good enough for everything else I did, so why not tatting too? I do not remember where or how I got my first "good" thread but my oh my....never again will I say plain old discount store crochet cotton is good enough. It will do the same thing - yes, but it never looks as good. The stitches don't slide as easily; they don't shine; they don't lay nicely. I think it was one of these early exchanges where I saw the results of beautiful thread that led me to try a better thread.

And I have digressed badly. What I was going to say was that when I first started tatting, one thing I wanted to tat was all the beautiful butterflies I saw. That was my favorite motif to tat. I was in two round robin butterfly exchanges. Apparently those were before I started my blog as I don't see a single one on here. So over the next few posts, in the midst of winter, I'm going to "snow" butterflies on you, the butterflies I got from other lovely tatters.

So...the butterfly here was tatted this afternoon. It's "Teresa" from Adelheid Dangela's book, Tatted Butterflies. There are 19 butterflies in this book if anyone wants it for the 25 Motif Challenge. It's diagram only with a short description of the order or any special details at the beginning of each one. I was nearly done with my exchanges when I got this book but I've still managed to tat most of them. This one is only 1 3/4" wide and slightly over 1" high in Altin Basak size 50, color 3054. The pattern actually has long twisted picots where the beads are but I wanted to try to use these long rice beads instead. I know I've made this flutter before but didn't find it on my blog. It's small and simple compared to some of them. And one last comment...initially I was going to follow my statement about how much I loved tatting butterflies with one saying I nearly burnt myself out on them. I tat one every now and then but suddenly, I'm wanting to tat a flurry of them, so watch for more!

This is getting very long. If you're still with me.....this is a sticker I got from Mother Henna. You can request some for yourself free. Just follow the link at the top of her blog. They come in black and white and YOU get to be the creative one and turn it into whatever you like. I also won a giveaway at Blog Giveaways, a Handmade Sampler goodie bag. It arrived today - but since this has already gotten so long, I'll save it for next post!

"I treat myself as priceless, down to the smallest detail." Victoria Moran ~


  1. Oh, how I long to de-clutter! I get the greatest urge in the winter when I have the least time. In the summer, I always think it's too hot... would you like to come for a visit and inspire me to de-clutter? : )

    I have quite a few butterfly patterns, but I have yet to make one! Maybe I should gear myself up for spring... thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I feel as if we have had a nice long chat! De-cluttering is the greatest - when it is over and someone else did it! Congratulations. I love the heart garland. It is very sweet. I learned the single shuttle technique just to say that I had. I agree that it just isn't necessary in my opinion. The butterfly is very pretty and I look forward to more pictures. Aren't you amazed that you started with nothing, all by yourself, and you have gotten to the wonderful place where you are in tatting? You should be!

  3. Destashing and decluttering is something I desperately need to do, but I can't bring myself to do it! I just might need that burnt orange skein of yarn I bought seven years ago for God knows what. You piqued my curiosity about that particular SSSR method, too. I never bothered with it because a normal SR can be used to do the same thing. I tried it anyway just so I could have it in my bag o'tatting tricks. I found it to be quite tedious, but it is good for keeping the color flow unbroken when using variegated threads. Thanks for the link to GinaB's page!


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