Saturday, January 31, 2009

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their kind words and well-wishes regarding my broken ankle. The last month has been difficult in many ways, the tree fall and the broken ankle the most traumatic but not the only bad luck I've had. I've decided that I'm just having it all at once and now, this last day of the month, I am done with it. The rest of the year is going to be absolutely AWESOME!!!

I wanted to show you the pansy I found in the tatting supplies I was gifted with in an earlier post.

I'm pretty sure this is the pattern of Pam DeVries. I see now that I laid it out wrong, but it's pretty no matter how you do it. This has been on my "to do" list for a long time. Since this is an online pattern, I'm guessing she might have been known online?

There were some simple white circle motifs that appeared to be part of something larger in mind but I'm not sure what. As I mentioned before, the tatting is perfect. I asked her daughter how long her mother had tatted since the supplies all look fairly new and she said that she never stopped, she thought she even tatted in her sleep. "She was into sewing most of her life and started with making a quilt, with her mother, at a very young age. Through the years she was always sewing something. She tatted, crosstitched, embroidery, quilting, knitting, crochet and whatever else there was, she did." Her name was Jane Smith and she was originally from Ft. Wayne, but worked for years in New Jersey.

Her daughter is from Pennsylvania so perhaps she lived her later years there, I'm not sure. I asked for a photo of her because I wanted to put a face with this wonderful woman and I got one but I haven't asked permission to show it so for now, it won't be posted. She reminded me very much of my own mother's photos though.

This flyer was also in the box. It looks like something from the 40's but it's probably the only thing really old in the container. Of course her daughter kept anything completed. There were 27 hankies in there and I asked if she liked tatting edgings on hankies and not suprisingly, the answer was yes. Most of the thread is size 70/80 so she worked quite a bit with the finer stuff. I mentioned that she must have been very organized because the shuttles with thread are marked with bits of tape as to what the thread size was. Also inside the larger threads, she had written the size. You know how when you use enough of the ball that the label falls away and sometimes you can't tell the difference between size 20 and size 30, especially in white or ecru? I think all the shuttles are Boye plastic ones except for one white one that I'm not sure about. It's very similar though. I didn't ask, but I wondered if she tatted with beads at all.

It's a bright sunshiny day and I noticed the temperature is now 33º, just above freezing - a nice change from 5º that it was last night!

One of my comments from the last post was from a man in India who writes, paints and does literary criticisms. I didn't publish it since my feeling was that it was basically a link back to his own work (which was nice) and a way to drum up business, since it was only about writing and painting. Especially after I read the comments on his site, it appeared that he went to several blogs and made complimentary comments. It just didn't seem to have anything to do with tatting. In other words, I felt it was a marketing ploy. Neither my writing or art is distinguishing at this point in time. Fun, but not something I would consider outstanding and I have more local and dependable resources for criticism and input if I were to choose that route. If anyone IS interested, I can give you the link. Email me privately. There is an email link up by my photo.

In my next post, I'll show you some beads and glass buttons and charms I got from a very dear lady...and hopefully some tatting but at the moment, my fingers are all taped up to heal the cracks. I boiled several pans of water today and never did see any steam on the kitchen window so you know it is dry as a bone here!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Confessions of an Undercover Tatter

As told to Cormac, Beloved Friend and Advisor....(loud clearing of throat)

It all began when I was sent on a mission across the Big Pond to befriend the dear Tatting Goddess (whom I've come to think of as The Royal Klutz lately). I was warmly welcomed and had the greatest fun poking around in her thread and bead stash and pouring through her books and albums. She showered me with affection and of course, we grew closer and closer, sharing tea on a regular basis and the occasional sip of wine. She shared with me the joy of her first split ring and then the triumph of her first split chain, then double picots and self-closing mock rings. She mourned the loss of discontinued favorite threads and the loss of patterns that disappeared into the mysterious black hole of a "safe place." We laughed and we cried together, hugging, giggling, trusting.

And then she told me...

She was an undercover tatter. She tatted in secret. Sometimes for weeks and months on end. I could tell she was beginning to crack under the pressure.

"How did this happen?" I asked.

"I don't know!" she sobbed. "At first, it was just a small surprise. A little tatting every month for a special reader of my blog."

"Yes? and then what?" I prodded.

"And then I added a mystery motif every know, just to jazz the atmosphere up a little. It was fun teasing everyone...."

"Yes! Go on!" I pleaded.

"And then there was this "Secret Santa" thing that I do every year - it should not have been too much to do. I got to be extra sneaky and throw out hints and tease even more. " she said.

"Yes, Yes!" I knew she was very close to revealing something.

"Oh, but I shouldn't bother you, dear Cormac! You've been such a kind friend to me. Let's go have some ice cream!"

Oh, let me tell you, I was soooooo cream...whooah yummy yummy whoo-hoo! But I was so close to knowing her secret!

"ummm....I'm not in the mood for (gulp) cream just now..tell me more about your ...undercover activities. will do you good, make you feel better. I want you to feel better." I was practically begging her now.

"mmmm..oh, all right...well, then there was this special project for someone. Hush-hush, you know. It'll all come out before long."

"Really? Please please please let me see!!" Now I was groveling.

"No, I couldn't!" she cried.


I knew she wanted to tell me. I waited. Suspense was building.

"Promise you won't tell?" she asked me.

"Oh no, not me, never! My lips are sealed." I said.

"Well, you know there's this Secret Valentine thingie going on now, and I have the special thing I'm tatting for the latest monthly winner, and well...I finished the special project!" she whispered...smiling slyly.

"Um Hum." I pretended disinterest but my tummy was screaming for ice cream. COME ON LADY! SPILL THE BEANS!!!!

"Okay, I'm going to just show you a tiny bit...and I'm not telling you which is don't you even ask!" she scolded sternly. "Look the other way a minute, I have to disguise them a little bit. Not that I don't trust you," she added lightly.

"Okay, you can look now!".

I held my breath as I slowly turned around. Oh my! What can these be?

"Who is this for?" I asked.

She shook her head from side to side furiously. "Cormac! I can't tell you!"

"Hmmm...well, WHAT is this?" I asked, as if I didn't hear her scolding me.


Obviously I wasn't making any brownie points with my innocent questioning.

"OH come ON! You gotta tell me about THIS one!" I exclaimed.

(BIG SIGH) "I think I'm going to have some ice cream about you?"

Wham...I'm outta here!

Did I leave something in drafts?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Good News, Bad News

I got home today and found this package had arrived in the mail. I was expecting it, but not for a few days yet. A lovely woman named Roganne has gifted me with the tatting shuttles and thread of her mother who passed away recently at the age of 94. Roganne herself does not tat and wanted it to go to someone who would use it. I'm honored to have been asked and I will definitely use all of this. There are tons of hankies, size 80 thread and also several spools of ecru in various sizes as well as several Boye shuttles. There are some motifs attached and the tatting looks exquisite. Roganne said her mother had always done some kind of needlecraft and also emailed me a photo of a beautiful quilted jacket her mother made. I have tremendous appreciation for this gift and will use it wisely. Thank you Roganne.

Did you notice I also said "bad news" in the header? This morning I tried to pass a group doing the tour thing of the University as I was on my way to an appointment. I stepped off the sidewalk onto the ground to go around them. My right foot landed fine but my left foot felt like it went into a hole and down I went. I walked on over to Hovde Hall for my appointment, could feel my ankle swelling as I sat there, and then walked back to the office...limped actually. Once I got there, I told my coworker that I needed to see a doctor, thinking I had a really bad sprain. It turned out to be a break, a clean break, but a break nonetheless, requiring a cast for 3 weeks and then a walking shoe and then a foot brace. I can go back to work but will probably stay home a day or two until it hurts less and I can maneuver this thing better. I needed the tatting time anyway, right? The package above arrived fortuitously.

I sent this to my sister recently and said don't you dare buy this for me! It's one of the Artful Bras done by the Quilters of SC

I got an online newsletter from JoAnn Fabrics recently which contained some guidelines for managing your fabric stash. Well...I could follow those and probably will at a later date but I also felt it was relevant for threads so with a little "find and replace" and changing a few lines, this is what I came up with for threads.

Review & Refresh It - Threads can get disheveled. Go through your stash periodically. Air it out, secure ends and group like threads together by type and color.
Donate It - Consider what threads you no longer want to keep or use and donate them to a local charity, school, community center or theater. (or tatter!)Digitize It - Before putting it away, take photos of threads to create digital samples. Create a log with the images and notes about the size, fiber content, etc.
Stack It - Try storing thread in clear stackable bins with lids. The bins keep threads dry and dust free, and you can easily see what's inside. Maybe even number them and record the numbers in your log for quick reference.
Hang It - Alternately, using thread spool hangers to store thread on a wall or in a closet.
Use It! - The best way to keep your stash tidy is to use it. For example, you can use up smaller pieces of thread by making butterflies and small blossoms.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Color Illusion & Inspiration!

I decided to tat something I could show, thinking I could get it done quickly.

HA! What was I thinking of?

It took me THREE days to get this done! That's because I didn't get home until after 8:30 p.m. two nights and I'm also tatting something else. So here is Jon's snowflake aka bookmark again. It has two sides, you know. Most people only show one side. (including me last time)
Here is the flip side. I don't know why my scanner came up with a white background this time. I must have accidently changed the setting. It wouldn't matter except it also washed out the dusty lavender color and makes it look pinkish.
So I tried scanning it on this dark blue and the lavender is easier to see but the variegated sort of fades into the blue.

These are the threads I used - Signature thread that I got from my Secret Santa (Purple Haze) and DMC perle cotton size 12. I love the sheen of size 12 perle cotton by DMC. It makes the prettiest bookmarks.

Since I was scanning, I got the 3 novelty ricracs I bought at Hobby Lobby last night. They were on sale, normally $1.99 each but only $1 each last night. Remember that ricrac tatting I was doing last July? I can't wait to try it on these!

Hobby Lobby also had these sew-on crystals on clearance. I tried to make them big enough for you to see the channels underneath where the needle goes through. I suspect I can also get a size 14 or 16 crochet hook through there to make joins. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A number of the blogs I've become familiar with in the past year are participants in this event. I already have more than enough going on and don't feel I can participate this year, other than maybe entering drawings, but I encourage you to give it a try! Here are some blogs to visit who are participating:

The Lavender Loft
Just Be Connected
Groggy Froggy
Tatting Chic
Art & Ramblings
Rhonda Willis
Mother Henna

A complete listing is available at One World, One Heart I'm told it's a great way to meet people!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I know from delivery confirmation that Trina got her package and I hope she's actually had time to open it as I don't really want to spoil the surprise, but I have no other tatting to show for now!

Here's the tatting included in Trina's package: This heart is from Butterflies Migrating offered by Palmetto's Tatting Guild. This is "Beautiful in Blue" on page 8. It's one of my favorites. Of course you can see that this one isn't blue! It's tatted in Olympus size 40. I also frayed the ends of the antennae for an added touch.

Using the same thread, I tatted this heart pattern by Helen Bailey. I didn't use the beads called for in the design, but I thought it turned out very pretty in this thread. The following triangle did not go to Trina and I had hoped to have a corrected triangle tatted before I showed it but I haven't YET.

The original instructions I had printed out showed a triangle made from the same pattern by repeating the same all around instead of dipping in for the heart center. No instructions were given- just the photo and a suggestion so I was trying to figure it out as I went and I used 2 colors of threads in the hopes of making the center stand out more. Each corner needed a longer chain, like the bottom center of the heart, which I remembered at first, but forgot as I got near the end. I was so frazzled at that point that I decided to wait for another day before trying it again. Tatted properly, it is an eyecatcher.

Trina got a little pouch too. Each one is unique and I just love making these! I forget what all I put in there now but it did have some chocolate!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January Blog Anniversary Winner!

The winner of the January drawing for the 5 year blog anniversary of Threads of a Tatting Goddess is Diane Cademartori of Illinois!

Congratulations to Diane!!!!!

Whew! One more after this!

If you enjoyed yesterday's sampling of the butterfly round robins I was in, please go to the modern day version at to see what is going on there. This one is organized by Sharon Briggs and there are instructions on the blog to get in touch with her if you are interested in participating in a RR yourself. I've got too many pots going to join in but I'll be watching it.

I got Trina's package sent off yesterday and last night started some test tatting for someone. I also need to put together the crochet classes I'm teaching my lace guild and to crochet more samples.

And then there is my roof...still waiting to be fixed. People have looked at it and my insurance company is sending me a check but it remains to be seen what the actual numbers are and when/what will be done. Fortunately it's not cold in the house.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Between 2000 and 2002, I took part in several round robins that were hosted by Maus, a lovely woman in Colorado who is now focused on knitting. Back then, however, She created a website and organized ongoing round robins, first for doilies, and then specific themed motifs (Collectors) were included. I took part in two butterfly RR's, two angel RR's, a Christmas RR, and signed up for a few that never came to fruitation. It was wildly successful for quite some time but finally, participants who did not complete their committment and who sometimes dropped out with everyone else's hard work made the round robins a painful subject. I never got my 2nd angel RR back. Even so, I learned my best tatting during that time.

There were usually a minimum of 6 participants in each RR. There were US only groups and there were international groups. Each person sent their first tatting off to the person after them. That person would add their own motif and send it on to the person after them. There were deadlines to help keep the RR flowing smoothly. At the end of the RR, you got your own motif back along with one from each of the other participants. That later changed to where each person simply sent a motif to each of the others directly. That meant you didn't get to see everyone else's and took a lot of the fun out of it.

This was the Butterfly RR #1
Carol in FL, USA
Waleska in GA, USA
Becky in MI, USA, groupleader
Maus in CO, USA
Adelheid in Blomberg-Reelkirchen, germany
Emma in WA, USA
Shanon in MN, USA
Regina (me) in IN, USA

And this was Butterfly RR #4, the last of the butterfly ones.
Beverlee in NM, USA
Marla in FL, USA
Martha in NC, USA
Virginia (Ginny) in NY, USA
Gail in Ohio, USA, groupleader
Regina (me) in IN, USA
Apphia in IL, USA
Amy in MN, USA
Pam in MN, USA

You can still sneak a peek at how it was done here. Many of the photos are now red x's and I couldn't access any of the patterns, but you can imagine how cool it wss to go there and watch the squares fill in and to ooh and ahhh over each new interpretation.

This was my first butterfly for the 1st RR. I made another like it but with different thread for the 1st person I got. Back then, I didn't have a scanner. I would take the motif to my sister's house and scan it there, save it to a disk, and them email the scan to Maus who put it on the webpage. This pattern came from a workbasket and was part of a doily. I only made the butterfly. It's quite large, 7" x 4", larger than most that were tatted.

This was the flutter for my 2nd RR. I adapted a motif from an old Needlecraft or maybe it was Home Needlecraft, and turned it into a butterfly. The link to this pattern is in my sidebar. It's about as big as the first one. I don't know why I thought they had to be big as a doily.

I wasn't able to find every single butterfly. We used the small photo albums to send them around in but I have lost some flutters since they came home. I was glad to see the original site so that I had an idea of what was missing. When you hover your cursor over a photo, it tells who and what pattern and the thread. Or is supposed to. It's deteriorating so you can't find everything but at one time it mostly worked. These round robins spawned a lot of designing too. When you saw how someone had interpreted a pattern, you started getting ideas yourself. It was a really exciting journey for me. If you go to the RR link from above, you'll see one from Wally to someone else with a happy face bead. I thought that was so whimsical and I chuckled every time I saw it. It also inspired me to use the same happy face bead for her. I adapted another Workbasket pattern so that it was more of a side view and then I put alphabet beads in the body too to spell out W-A-L-L-Y.

This was about the time Palmetto was getting going and they were collecting patterns for their book, Migrating Butterflies. The one I adored the most was not even in there, but I got it somehow. I hope I can find it again. It's the beaded butterflies in profile.

Then Hope Green designed her hairpin lace butterflies and I proofed the pattern (along with others) for her. That inspired me to make hairpin lace fans with tatting.

I loved making the bright yellow flutter for Maus (intimidated too because she is such an exquisite tatter) but it is from a book no longer in print. I borrowed the book (actually a stapled together xerox of patterns, that's how old it is) from I.O.L.I. and tatted that one and a few others from the book.

Some people tatted the same pattern in different threads for each person in their group. Most tatted a different pattern for each person though. It was a challenge to continue to find something you wanted to tat that you also felt was somehow an expression of that person or how you perceived them. I used the opportunity to learn new techniques and use beads, as well as to stretch myself in designing. I still have some butterfly ideas to try out.'t you wish you were there?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Adventures in Sampling (or Buyer Beware)

I entered and won a giveaway hosted by the author of Blog Giveaways before Christmas but due to the holidays and people traveling, etc., I just got the handmade sampler bag a few days ago. Because of the delay, Maria also sent me the bar of Savor soap. At the moment, it's residing in my recently crocheted bag because I needed something to put in there and that was handy! Thank you Maria!

I went to the Handmade Sampler site which is where Maria got the bag ( a lovely recycled paperish kind of bag) to pass on. I'm not clear on how it works, but I think you subscribe and pay a fee to get the sampler on a monthly basis. It's a sample of handmade items from various sellers. I think I counted 15 items plus several business cards. There isn't any tatting in this post so feel free to move on if it doesn't interest you.

The Savor soap is called Sweet Carrot but doesn't smell like a carrot. LOL! It has a nice subtle scent. It reminds me that I have a bunch of soapmaking supplies in a box down in the basement. Time to use or lose!

This is an Artist's Trading Card (ATC) which I gather is actually a business card. When I went to her Etsy store, I found she used vintage art in various ways. I guess I thought ATC's were something else. I saw them as a way to trade examples of your work, and well, it is - a sample of her work along with her contact information. I didn't know they used them to advertise. My sister does scrapbooking so maybe I'll pass it on to her. It's not strictly scrapbooking stuff as I saw a couple of vintage crochet doilies but nothing else that I'll use myself.

Most of the items in this bag are targeted for a very young audience - like, under 30 and maybe even under 20. LOL! There were three links and an email addy on the back of the baggie for these. I chose to go to the blog which focuses on vintage clothing and accessories. When you've lived vintage, it's not nearly as fascinating, so I went to her etsy shop, which I enjoyed much more. Some lovely jewelry there. I'll probably give the button thingies to my granddaughter. Oh wait, the ring finding already came off of the button back and the hot glue is solid so can't use the button for much else.

This was a cutout for the last quarter of 2008 to make. Oh, this is bad. It was for 2008 so....
I made it and then pitched it, and that means I don't know where it is from. Oops!

I have absolutely no use for these and it's a good thing since when I went to the website, it said no products found. Okay, I'll just save the baggie on that one.

I told myself I would be tactful and gentle with these samples. These are beads on a clear plastic ring. It caught my attention - like, what is it? I may never know. The red print on the olive green background is impossible, nearly, to read. It says: Floating Jewelry Design by....can't read the name; it's too small of print on very little contrast. There is this: Okay, I'm going to try which turns out to be a multiple store site and when I add the remaining stores/show/1858, I get this person's site but there is nothing there or if there is, I don't know how to get to it.

This one is one of two favorites. It's just a decoupaged clothespin. No hand painting or anything special, but it's cute and functional. HOWEVER, going to the website (, I again get the message that no product is found. This person does have an email, but I'm not going to pursue it.

This was my other favorite and it is from the supplier of the handmadesampler bag, which I've already said I'm not real clear on. (not the host of the giveaway! the host simply passed on the sampler bag she got) I do like the fairy charm. I believe this is to put on a cell phone or ipod but I'll use it for something else.

This is a novel way of advertising. It's a little notepad with the business card on top. Once again, however, I'm not finding a way to navigate this store.

This one is a small gift tag, handmade, and the maker's etsy shop was handwritten on the back. Unfortunately, when I went there, nothing was available for sale. Good feedback but it appears she is not an active seller.

I don't have anyone to give this to. It looks like a tooth monster. LOL! Again, the print on the dark green background make it very hard to read. But after shedding glasses and squinting up close, I got which is a real place! Nothing there, but maybe after recovering from the holidays they will put something up.

I have to admit I was not impressed by the paper bookmark if it was meant to be a sample of their work. At least use an enticing photo! When I went to the Etsy shop, it was empty but there was a link to another shop which has a different line and that site has a link to yet another site, as well as one back to this one. I have nothing else to say on this one.

This is a photo postcard printed on photo paper, which makes it too flimsy to use as an actual postcard. There is an email on the back but no link to other information.

Recipe cards from an empty Etsy site. You know...this is an item that you can make yourself from so many free online templates that it wouldn't be worth the postage to buy from someone.

This arrived broken. I thought there was a card for it but I can't find it now.

I did like this as an ad. It's a pen and ink drawing on watercolor with some watercolor added. On the back is handwritten the artist's deviantart address. Oh, this is an ATC also. Ah, yes, these are actual samples of the artist's work along with their contact info. So, if I made one, I'd have a little tatted something to show. Hmmm...that's what we do for our lace guild's giveaways at demonstrations. There was nothing in this person's gallery.

Here are the business cards included that were not related to any products in the bag:
Custom Dog Bandanas
Fine Art Photography Wearable Art for Babies & Kids
Twilight Knits Hand dyed and handpainted yarn
tu2cute tutus and accessories for every little princess

Okay, I just spent a lot of time giving away a huge bunch of publicity that the majority will never benefit from because their contact information is invalid, incomplete, or they simply quit doing what they were doing. The last five links which were business cards only, no samples. are all good ones. Out of 15 samples, only a handful have something to follow up on.

If you're thinking of selling online, I hope you don't make these mistakes. If you are providing a sample, keep in mind that it is representative of everything you offer. If you can't provide an inexpensive sample, then don't - just have a really jazzy business card. Make sure your information is complete. Make sure that whatever your website location is, it's easy to navigate. If you go out of business, gather up your advertising materials so they aren't out there disappointing potential customers.

hmmm...I originally ended this on a negative note and then felt that was disrespectful to Maria who provided me with this lovely gift! Actually, it WAS fun and eye-opening to me too, to look all these up. I could have just taken the few things I liked and left it at that because I am really so appreciative of Maria's generosity in sending me the bag. I think I was just very surprised by what I found and felt it was a good opportunity to help out anyone who is planning on selling online. I also wanted to say that I really liked that blue bag. I like the "handmade" logo on it. Now if I could just put handmade "tatted" sampler on it, it would be perfect!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lafayette Lacers met this morning and we all brought some ideas for our "theme" for lace day which is things to put things in....something along that line. I had some of the usual bags, but I've also been working on this hanging pouch since night before last. This is the second version. I actually got the idea from the Lazy Girl Blog. She sells the pattern on her store at the same site but I have to admit I just made up my own. This fabric is too stiff and I don't like it anyway so it was a good one to "waste". I tatted the trim at the meeting but am still not sure I want to go ahead and complete it. Maybe someone somewhere will like this print.

And look who that someone is! errr....okay, a rather forced liking, as you'll find out if you go here but he's still smiling! I'm not sure that is a good sign.

I'm off to hear a symphony in about 15 minutes so the butterfly post and the handmade sampler bag post will have to wait!

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 ~