Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Twice in One Month!?!

I know, I know, it's very strange. I'm writing again and it hasn't even been six months or a year. Part of my resolutions for the new year were to tat and write more.

Well, I have started work on the Let's Tat a Brussels Monument in Pink for Women's Rights project. I've only managed a test tat right now (had a busy couple of weeks) but I have the shuttles and thread ready to get down to business for the real thing.

I've also started working on an Ice Drop, pattern by Lace Lovin' Librarian. I should have read all of the instructions first, but I managed to struggle through and produced this:

I have been offered the opportunity to exhibit tatting again at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago. This time it is during their St. Patrick's Day celebrations. I suspect I'll be making quite few of the obligatory green earrings to have on hand that day, but I'll also work up some other more interesting items. I began a doily (I keep it at the Center) that I hope to have finished in time. It wants aggressive blocking right now, but I'm about three rounds out of 4. The first time I made it, I used green and white thread; it turned out okay. I've decided to go all white for this attempt. It's the Clover Leaf Doily from an old issue of A Needle Pulling Thread magazine.

If I can manage to make a more successful Ice Drop (and tat a few of the Brussels squares), I feel that I will have achieved my goal of learning one new pattern a month this year. Does this count as two patterns in January, or do I get to slide on February off of this? Either way, it's a start. I tend to make more than just one of everything so getting a new pattern in here and there will only add to my repertoire!

I was hoping to jury in to a new market here in Illinois in May (the market isn't new, just my being there). Had the application ready to go. Then I realized that it conflicted with a 5k I am running with my daughter. I'll not be telling her about it because she would insist that I do the market instead. She is a sweet child and very supportive. I think I'll be free for the September version, fingers crossed I get in.

I'm off until next time.

Happy tatting!

Your Friend,
Shuttle Flicka

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Happy New Year to everyone!

It was an exciting year around here last year!

It's been a year and a half since we moved in and I can finally state that as of June, 2017 my guest/craft room is open. I removed the 20 or so boxes that had been living in there, made a comfy space for guests to use, and organized my craft supplies! Okay, I may have overstated the last bit, but it doesn't look like a yarn shop blew up in there so that's something, right?

I also participated in some incredible events!

In July, I was asked to demonstrate tatting at an Irish fest here in Chicago! I volunteer at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago with the Nimble Thimbles and the organizers requested that we have some of our members demonstrating our crafts at the fest. There were demos on spinning, quilting, needlepoint, doll dressmaking, and tatting! Although it was only supposed to be for half an hour each day, I ended up demonstrating for an hour the first day and three the next. Did I mind staying longer than arranged? Of course not! Any opportunity to tat in public and talk to people about it is like playtime for me! I even managed to sell a few pieces.

Then in November I was back at Interwoven Expressions exhibiting and selling my lace.

Rare sighting 

I love the artists there, they truly do amazing work and I have so much fun every single time. It turned out to be a successful day for me. So successful, I was near jumping out of my skin by the end of it. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that people appreciate your work enough to take it home for themselves or as a gift for someone else.

On the strength of interest at the Irish Fest, the organizers of the IAHC sent me a vendor invitation for their Christmas Bazaar! I had attended in the past as a volunteer at the Nimble Thimble craft table and had sold a few shamrock earrings, but had never had my own booth. I decided to take the plunge...

I am now the sole proprietor of Shuttle Flicka Lace! (for tax purposes in Illinois)

Leading up to the Christmas Bazaar was a nail-biter because I really wasn't sure how it would go; but I resolved that everything would unfold the way it was supposed to and I would just accept it. I must say, the response to my lace was gratifying. I met some wonderful people, heard lovely stories about relatives who tatted, shared some tatting history, and sold some of my pieces. I was so exhilarated at the end of the day! Back in the Nimble Thimble room packing up, I was fairly bursting with excitement over my success. Seeing my smile, they asked how my day went and my gleeful response was treated to a round of applause. I walked out of there on air!

Christmas Bazaar set-up, oh so very flashy

The balance of the year was spent finishing up a commission (clip-on earrings) in time for Christmas and spending time with my family.

Patterns by Morimoto and Parry

It has not been an easy year with all of the firsts since my father passed away, but there have been some real high points, especially celebrating my brother's marriage to an amazing woman. On the whole, I will remember it fondly as I choose to focus on the good as much as I can. I am grateful for the continued love and support of my family and friends and hope I provide the same for them.

I look forward to this new year, like most people, as a new start, another chance to get it right. I plan on filling it with goodness and love, time spent with family and friends, time spent tatting, and trying in some small way to make this world a better place. Happy New Year to you all!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Wild Ride!


It's been an interesting couple of months here. The short version is that: we moved in, my father passed away, and our daughter started school.

The house was unfinished when we arrived so I have been dealing with the developer. Ugh. Hard to get settled in and unpacked when you know they have to install a window in the basement and paint stuff (at a minimum).

I have found that tatting is very relaxing in the ICU at 3am. I have a string of simple earrings (Leila's flowers, no picots) that I made in the low light while taking my shift with my father. I wear a fitbit and a watch on my wrist; they are perfect for holding a large picot gauge when you have to get up in a hurry.

I looked forward to the end of summer break as, I suppose, many parents do. While I have not had the unlimited tatting time of my daydreams (just wait, once she's back in you can tat to your heart's content), I have found time to get something accomplished. Of course, I haven't tied anything off so I won't be showing them here for a bit. But, believe me, I have been tatting again.

I am looking forward to Interwoven Expressions, a sale and exhibition held annually in Chesterton, Indiana. I will be back there again this year! It is being held the second Saturday in November leaving me just enough time to recover from Halloween before I have my last presale push.  Funny how I always come up with new ideas right before a sale and really try to realize them in the short time left. I am resolved to stick to my plan and tat only what I need. Of course, I'm sure my resolve will fail but we don't need to dwell on that right now.

Hopefully I will have something to show you the next time I write. Until then, happy tatting!

Shuttle Flicka

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New Home for Tatting!

I am back and it hasn't even been ages and ages!

We have moved house which means my tatting (and other goodies) can come back out of storage! It also means that instead of working in one corner of a room shared with the rest of the family, I can keep all of my things in a separate room and finally have my own space! It will also double as a guest room when needed, but there is plenty of room for both! I know, a lot of exclamation points, but this is a really big thing for me.

As I mentioned previously, I have only made earrings (okay, and a small cross) since February. The stash that had been growing in my workbox has been depleted by random sales. Funny thing about tatting at the local Dunkin' Donuts, I have a following there now.

I am still in the process of unpacking everything, which is making me want to do all kinds of things, like sew and knit and crochet. But I am determined that I will only make earrings for a while now. After a few more using Leila and Morimoto's patterns, I'll look for a new pattern. But before I do that, I have to find my pattern books, they're still packed away.

As an aside, I did make a small cross. I don't remember off-hand who wrote the pattern so I won't picture it here. My daughter had her first communion and she wore a wedding veil that both my sister and I had worn. We attached a tiara that her paternal grandmother had commissioned for her. On the day of her communion, I told her I had added something to symbolize that it was hers now too. I attached the small cross to the back of the veil in honor of her event.  She was touched and very proud of it. I was happy that she liked it. I know she enjoys it when I make something special for her and I think she felt the love I had tatted into it.

Now, I haven't tatted anything since we moved here in late June, but I know where my kit is if I need to tat a bit. I feel like I have to unpack everything else first to earn the reward. Silly me.

I'm off to unpack.

Happy tatting!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

All Tied UP!

Well, it has been a long time since I posted on here. My apologies. It seems that something is always happening around here.

I have not stopped tatting though, and I have not stopped tatting in public. I spent last April 1st making small butterflies in a pub and giving them away to patrons and staff.

I have made items for a friend to wear to a steampunk convention.

I have made a few things as gifts for family and friends.

I have made items for sale at Interwoven Expressions, a market that I do in Indiana every November. The keychains are by Morimoto.

My resolution this year is to make at least one item every week. Tatting relaxes me, keeps me occupied, and by choosing small items, I can accomplish my goal without stress.

A slew of earrings is growing in my workbox.

This focus has helped me recently. You see, we are putting a lot of things in storage right now. I have boxed up and stored ninety percent of my tatting supplies. It wasn't easy to do, but I pulled out only the thread I plan on using for the next few months. It has been good in that I don't have other thread sitting in a bin calling to me to tat it; less distraction.

The earrings so far have been made from Lizbeth size 20 in various colors. The patterns are by Leila and Morimoto. I only have the Leila ones finished right now, the Morimoto are waiting on hardware.

I was also fortunate enough to have some of my tatting integrated into a quilt. As I have mentioned before, I am a member of the Nimble Thimbles at eh Irish-American Heritage Center in Chicago. During an art quilt challenge, I offered some pieces to embellish a morning glory themed quilt. I tatted caterpillars and green tendrils for the piece.


I was so happy to finally get my tatting on a quilt!!!!!

I'm sure much more happened in the intervening time, but I cannot summon it from the depths of the cavern in my head. Ah well...

I admit I did take a break from tatting to work on costumes for a convention. We went as the characters from Inside Out; I made the dresses and stenciled the sweater. It was quite a bit of work, but well worth it.

 Okay, that brings us up to speed. With any luck, I'll be posting again the next few years!

Tat tat for now!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Return of the BLOG!!!!

Hello, everyone! This post is actually from Mid-March. I keep falling off the planet and then jumping back on. I hope to stick around for a while now.

It has been so long since I've been on, I have done quite a bit of catch up reading today and I'm still not current on the tatting blogs I follow.  Ugh.

I have been tatting though. Since I am going to attempt to condense two and half months in this post, please fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

As I mentioned in my pre-Christmas post, my husband ordered a stack of pattern books for me from amazon (yes, I chose them) and they all arrived between Christmas and New Years!

I was so excited. And overwhelmed. I didn't even know where to start. Has this happened to you?

Since I am part of an Irish-American quilting group (they sew, I tat), I decided to start with the Celtic Tatting book and start at the beginning. I completed the Celtic Snowflake in Aunt Lydia's size 10 white.

I see that the hardest thing for me is going to be getting the correct tension in the chains in order to weave them. I am also having to make longer chains which is a bit of a hassle. I suppose it's a learning curve.

I took a bit of time off for extracurriculars while my husband was home over the holidays and that kept me away from the tatting a bit. I also decided to focus on a few resolutions and that has been time consuming. Getting organized is never an easy process. Obtaining a storage unit definitely greases the wheels. As I feel that the home is more under control, the tatting increases. Odd?

I continued work on the baby bonnet and then lost the pattern. I haven't reprinted it yet and my heart's not in it. I will get back to it.

I continued working on my shamrock pendant for the quilting group and almost have it to the point where I feel comfortable selling them.  Soon, hopefully...

One of the quilters brought in a magazine called Needle Pulling Thread which had a needle tatting pattern. I have been able to translate it to shuttle and am working on it. When I have something to show for that, I will put it up with due credit. Since I only work at it when I am at the center, I can alternate between it and the shamrock pendant to keep things interesting.

I had wanted to do Jane's TIAS (I still hope to) but was never able to start it.

This past weekend was a big push for me. My husband had to travel to Florida and I joined him for a few days. That meant time alone to tat on the plane and time during his conference when I could relax and tat some more. Tatting at the airport is always fun. Mostly on the return flight so my husband was a witness. We hit the airport almost four hours early for our flight. As I sat there tatting a woman came over and said she had been watching me and was just going to be upfront and nosy about it. I explained what I was doing. She oohed and ahhed and went back to her seat after a while. I was pretty happy.

I overheard a woman whispering to her husband about me while they stood in line to board, so I caught her eye and quickly spread the good word again. I was even happier.

I saw two women a few feet watching me intently and I motioned that I would just come to them. So I did. One actually knew what I was doing, she had seen her mother tatting. Yay!!!

I got back to my seat and my husband told me he really loved that I was so passionate about my craft. He seemed proud.

I continued to tat until we got on the plane. I have found on the flight out that if I fold my pattern just right, I can shove it under the hook for the tray table and tat in my lap with my own private bulletin board. As we waited for take-off, I heard from across the aisle "I think she's making a cross". I looked up to see two women watching me work. They smiled and I continued working. When I finished the cross, I held it up for them to see. It was so much fun! Since I had a bit of thread left on the shuttle, I made two small butterflies. I passed them to the women along with my business card and signed to them that they could keep them. Even with the background noise, I could hear how delighted they were. As we deplaned, they said they would get in touch with me. I have no idea if anything will come of it, but it felt so good to be an ambassador.

Next week I am doing my second market. Since I haven't made very much, I am hoping that I can whip up a few pieces in time. I am going with bookmarks and notecards mostly, and a few hairpins. Whenever I have small bits left on the shuttle, I have been making Birgit's angel and jumpy guy doodles or Lindsay Rogers' daisy. I have a few ideas for converting them into notecards. I have also been making the aforementioned cross to use for an Easter card. When I have my act together (HA!) I'll take a picture and post it.

I'm sure there are things I've made that I've omitted. I'll have pictures soon enough.

As it is, I'm so happy to be back and hope that my absence will be forgiven. I have missed you all very much.

Happy tatting!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014